Eco group Less Waste Hitchin sets sights on plastic-free future

PUBLISHED: 10:20 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 19 September 2019

Plastic Free Hitchin was launched by environmental group Less Waste Hitchin. Picture: Less Waste Hitchin

Plastic Free Hitchin was launched by environmental group Less Waste Hitchin. Picture: Less Waste Hitchin

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Environmental groups in Hitchin are hoping to make the town 'plastic free' by the summer of 2020.

Plastic Free Hitchin are hoping to make the town 'plastic free' by the second quarter of next year. Picture: Less Waste HitchinPlastic Free Hitchin are hoping to make the town 'plastic free' by the second quarter of next year. Picture: Less Waste Hitchin

Plastic Free Hitchin, which launched in June this year, held a meeting last Tuesday and discussed its strategy to help the town eliminate single-use plastics.

The group, an offshoot of Less Waste Hitchin, is seeking Plastic Free Community Approved status under the Surfers Against Sewage criteria, following the progress of Letchworth, which became the first Hertfordshire town to be certified in June.

Anni Sander, steering group leader of Plastic Free Hitchin, said: "The project is really about engaging with business and the wider community, as a group of volunteers, to build up awareness of how we can cut back on our plastic use.

"So far we've had about 15 local businesses already express interest in helping our project, which is really exciting.

The Wholesome Weigh eco-refill shop encourages members of the public to bring their own reusable containers. Picture: Less Waste HitchinThe Wholesome Weigh eco-refill shop encourages members of the public to bring their own reusable containers. Picture: Less Waste Hitchin

"The main priority for businesses is replacing single-use plastics - for instance plastic bags and cleaning products - with recyclable and compostable alternatives.

"We are lucky in Hitchin to have so many people alive to the implications of using plastic."

A rising network of local businesses and community initiatives have been helping the town shift attitudes.

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Wholesome Weigh, on Churchyard Walk, is an eco refill shop which serves organic whole foods, and encourages members of the public to bring their own reusable containers.

A delivery service called Unpacked delivers food to your doorstep every two weeks in compostable packaging.

Less Waste Hitchin also host regular events such as Real Nappies Monthly, an informal meet to talk about reusable nappies and the secrets to sustainable parenthood.

A 'Repair Cafe' is being held on November 17, at Hackspace Hitchin, where members of the public can bring their broken household items to be fixed by a team of volunteers, rather than binned.

Plastic Free Hitchin is working closely with North Herts District Council and Transition Town Letchworth, as the group works towards the eventual goal of making every North Herts town 'plastic free'.

North Herts District Cllr Kay Tart, who is also a member of the Plastic Free Hitchin steering group, said: "PFH are perfectly placed to share important messages and practical ideas with members of the public, and I think we should be doing everything that we can to support them.

"The group is made up of dedicated local people, with an enormous amount of knowledge, who are committed to working for change.

"These may seem like fairly small actions in the face of a global problem, but every different choice contributes to change and I want to do all I can to help Hitchin to become plastic free."

For more information and events, visit the Plastic Free Hitchin Facebook page.

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