Take action

Waste hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle, wasteTaking responsibility and setting a good example can be amazingly positive and have knock-on affects which help us towards ending plastic pollution. The following guide is modelled on the simple waste hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle.



  • Second hand
  • Create
    • Upcycle Swindon is a charity who receive donations and upcycle them. They provide skills for young and vulnerable people to help them into work.
    • Join a local art group who reuse materials such as Artsite or Ipsum.
    • Make ecobricks, building blocks made from reused plastic-filled bottles.
    • There are a huge amount of online resources for upcycling all kinds of items. Pinterest, for example.
  • Repair
    • How well designed is a product? Is it repairable? Will it last? Are parts available? If so, are they affordable? The Fairphone is a great example of a product which is easily repaired due to its modular design. This saves resources and money.
    • Renew Swindon are an organisation who refurbish and repair, teaching valuable skills, and providing a friendly space to commune. It includes the Men's Shed in Penhill, which is open to all, part of the UK Men's Shed Association.
    • Repair Cafes have sprung up around the world in the last few years. Items are repaired for free with demonstrations so that people learn and pass on new skills. Swindon is blessed with a Repair Cafe and Free Shop, a very popular community event with local live music, food and a good atmosphere. Interestingly, the free shop in Swindon came about, in part, because of Food Not Bombs.
    • "iFixit is a global community of people helping each other repair things. Let's fix the world, one device at a time." Includes manuals, guides, parts, and tools. Plenty of other repair tutorials out there!
    • Find places to repair electricals with Recycle Your Electricals.
    • Software obsolescence is responsible for a huge amount of WEEE waste and (plastic) pollution. One solution is to use free / libre software instead of proprietary software. For example, GNU / Linux can be used as an alternative operating system for computers.
    • There are local craft groups to learn and hone skills such as Knit and Natter and Swindon Big Knit.
    • Swindon Makerspace has excellent facilities to repair all kinds of items.


  • Pick up litter and put it in the appropriate place. Remember the waste hierarchy (in order of preference): Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Use Swindon Borough Council's Waste Wizard to know what to do with different materials.
  • Recycle Your Electricals shows where electrical items can be recycled locally.
  • Pick up and recycle discarded vapes. They contain the valuable metal lithium, as well as poisonous nicotine. Reusable vapes = less plastic and is cheaper. If you're trying to give up fags, stick with it! You smell sweeter already!
  • The borough council collect plastic for recycling. See their recycling guide for details of what is and isn't recycled.
  • Wiltshire Air Ambulance work with Terracycle to recycle commonly used types of plastic packaging.

"We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a person changes their own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards them. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do."

– Mahatma Gandhi

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