Plastic Free Communities uniting against throwaway culture and single-use plastics

Plastic Free Communities is a movement calling on people to unite against the growing impact that throwaway culture is having on the planet.

An initiative by Surfers Against Sewage, Plastic Free Communities uses people power and community action to tackle the problem of avoidable single-use plastics head-on through a two-step process.

Firstly, by asking thousands of people to sign up and download Individual Action Plans for reducing their plastic use. And secondly, becoming a Plastic Free Community Leader.

Surfers Against Sewage are looking for Community Leaders, throughout the UK, to take their towns to the next level and spearhead the Plastic Free movement locally. The organisation is hoping to establish 125 Plastic Free Communities by 2020 where, similar to the Fairtrade movement, there are guidelines that each town will follow to be granted a Plastic Free Community status.

Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. Around 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK.

The majority of the plastic pollution Surfers Against Sewage volunteers find on beaches are avoidable, single-use items. Straws, stirrers, plastic bottles, plastic bags, disposable lighters, plastic cotton bud sticks, condiment sachets and more.

Surfers Against Sewage say: “It [Plastic Free Communities] is the only step-by-step community framework, uniting individuals, schools, businesses, community groups and local government to drive action on reducing local use of avoidable single-use plastics.”

There are now 388 Plastic Free Communities in the UK and that number is growing rapidly. Plymouth’s Waterfront became the first city district in the UK to be awarded Plastic Free Status.

As of June this year, Bayfield, a community on the edge of the Great Lakes in Canada, became the first international community to achieve Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities Status.

Another five global communities including China, Germany, Portugal, and Uruguay have signed up to work towards the Surfers Against Sewage accreditation.

If you would like to know more about the Plastic Free Communities, visit the Surfers Against Sewage website

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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