Newsletter issue 3

7th December 2020

Wow, is it Christmas already? It's been a difficult year for many of us. We hope that you're keeping well and send our best wishes.

It’s been a busy couple of months for the campaign. Here's an overview of the highlights. For full details, see the timeline.

Keep Swindon Tidy posters / signs
Poster made by Annabel.  A person puts rubbish in a bin with a heart above.  It reads, 'Keep Swindon Tidy.  Put your mask in the bin, not on the floor.'

We have been encouraging primary schools to take part in the activity. It was a great joy to receive our first school entries from Beechcroft Infants’ School in Stratton, or Beechcroft Eco Warriors as their teacher calls them.

Poster made by Moya Pinson.  Split into 4 sections.  1. A person picking up litter by a bus stop.  2. A full back of collected litter.  3. A 	turtle with a 4 pack can holder around its shell.  4. It reads, 'Stop plastic pollution.  No quick death.  Plastic chokes or strangles.  Animals cannot tell plastic from digestible food.  Plastic accumulates in stomach so they feel full and starve to death.'

We have been asking all parish councils for permission to erect Keep Swindon Tidy signs. The response has been positive; Central North Swindon, Central South Swindon, Chiseldon, Haydon Wick, Highworth, Wanborough and Wroughton are all happy to display signs with posters made by local children and adults. We are very grateful to those parishes for their support; many thanks.

Keep Swindon Tidy Day!
Poster made by Will.  A path winds its way through grass.  The sun has a calm face and is low in the blue sky that has just a few clouds.  A butterfly and kite fly.  Rabbits hop on the grass.  A person uses a bin.

To compliment the poster making collaboration and start the year with some positive co-operation, we are organising a Keep Swindon Tidy Day for Saturday 2nd January 2021. We have great support already for the event. Please, get involved, make keep Swindon tidy your new year's resolution!

The idea for Keep Swindon Tidy Day came from a conversation with Pete, an Aussie guy living in Swindon, who told us about an organisation called Clean Up Australia.

MP actions

Two important actions to take and share. We continue to be ignored by local MPs, waiting over 5 months now for a meeting to discuss important issues including the Environment Bill, the Plastic Pollution Bill and concerns about trade deals. There's an article about local groups' trade deal concerns on the Swindon Climate Action Network website.

Carbon reduction strategy consultation
Plastic and Climate report.  Lorries dump plastic waste onto a vast pile
Image credit

Swindon Borough Council recently produced a draft carbon reduction strategy. There is not a single mention of plastic in the document! Plastic pollution is a significant and growing factor in climate change, as made clear by the Center For Environmental Law's Plastic and Climate report. We have responded to the consultation.

Future Friendly
Future Friendly logo; a bird nestling a small bird under its wing.
Image credit

In the new year, we are looking to support the trial of an initiative called Future Friendly. It is designed to encourage businesses towards more ethical and sustainable practises. A mobile phone app has been developed which will underpin the initiative. We have been working on providing metrics for the app designed to reduce plastic usage. Watch this space for 2021…

Single-use plastic PPE = plastic pollution
Littered mask in a grassy area

Our actions in response to COVID-19 are signifantly contributing to plastic pollution. Globally, it is estimated that we have been using 129 billion single-use masks and 65 billion gloves a month. In the UK, an estimated 53.3 million single-use face masks are used each day. How do we solve one crisis by furthering others? Reusable PPE please. Further info on this in the Summer oF Refills campaign and COVID-19 section of our library.

If you find our work of value, please take the time to share it.

Thanks for reading and for supporting our campaign.
Merry Christmas / seasons greetings!