Leaders of a coalition working to reduce plastic in Bridgnorth were overwhelmed at the turnout at its first public meeting in November. The coalition includes Sustainable Bridgnorth, Love Bridgnorth, local retailers, the WI, schools, Beavers, St John’s Church, Shropshire Wildlife Trust (SWT), and individuals. Over 40 people spoke about their ideas, with a campaign proposed for a Plastic Free February; as Kath Norgrove explains, “The campaign will ask residents to change one thing, and we’ll be providing loads of simple tips, such as switching to soap, or getting a discount on your coffee in a reusable cup.”
Another development will see local retailers collaborate to help cut down their plastic use, with proposed ideas including forming a cooperative to purchase biodegradable items in bulk to reduce costs, and a reusable ‘Bridgnorth Cup’. Other proposals include a school competition around plastic-free lunchboxes, and exploring the feasibility of installing recycling bins for plastic bottles to stop them ending up in the River Severn. Co-organiser Cllr Julia Buckley was delighted with the enthusiasm, saying, “There were so many ideas from all different walks of life.”
“We don’t need to watch Blue Planet to see the oceans being destroyed by plastic; it’s really noticeable right here in our magnificent Severn,” adds SWT’s Luke Neal. “It’s not just the longest river in England, but also flows into the sea – so we have a responsibility to play our part.”
To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find the group on Facebook.
DITCH THE PLASTIC
Use cotton shopping bags;
Switch from shower gel to soap;
Try a shampoo bar;
Refill your water bottle;
Buy vegetables from the market to reduce packaging;
Visit a refill shop with your own container;
Take a reusable mug to the coffee shop;
Wrap sandwiches in beeswax cloth or greaseproof paper.