Letchworth environmentalists urge town to cut back on single-use plastic

Transition Town Letchworth hopes residents will start to use less single-use plastic. Picture: Kevin

Transition Town Letchworth hopes residents will start to use less single-use plastic. Picture: Kevin Jones - Credit: Archant

Letchworth environmentalists will launch activities to encourage people in the town to cut back on plastic waste, starting tomorrow.

Transition Town Letchworth are starting the initiative to urge people to use less single-use plastic items following a well-attended event in January where discussions about the problem were held.

The group is now asking individuals, businesses and schools to start thinking of way they can change their habits around plastic use.

They are working on a number of activities using a framework provided by the Surfers against Sewage organisation, including going to businesses in the area to ask about their use of plastics, and to guide them towards simple changes that will dramatically reduce plastic use.

Many local cafés are now switching to paper rather than plastic straws and signing up to the ‘refill’ app to show customers that they can refill their water bottles there for free, and those that take such steps are awarded with a certificate which can be displayed at their store.

The impacts of plastic use were highlighted in documentary series Blue Planet II, which focused on the scale of sea pollution, shocking viewers, and urged large businesses such as the BBC to dramatically cut back on plastic use.

The BBC aims to be free of single-use plastic across all sites by 2020.

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On Saturday, TTL will have a stall in Leys Square to launch the project, with the aim of engaging people about the problem of waste and how everyone can make small changes to their habits to cut down on the use of plastic, with the support of the Letchworth BID.

Letchworth BID is providing reusable bags for the group to give out to people who visit the stall.

There will also be a plastic sculpture on display, incorporating waste plastic bottles, and people will be invited to add to this.

The next day, Sunday, marks Earth Day – and the group will be taking part in a litter pick at Hillbrow Playing Fields from 10am to 11.30am.

As part of Letchworth Festival in June, TTL will run a children’s art competition on the theme of a ‘plastic-free Letchworth’.

More information about the ‘Plastic-Free Letchworth’ project can be found on the group’s website at transitionletchworth.org/stuff/plastic-free-letchworth.

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