Plastic Free Communities is a campaign designed and launched by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), with an ambition to get local communities to free themselves of an unhealthy dependence on single use plastic.
For example, by contributing to a reduction in the 38.5 million plastic bottles used in the UK every day; or the 7 million single use coffee cups thrown away (each day). Action is twofold; facilitating action on a local level but also challenging the issue of production at point of manufacture. It developed from the vision of Plastic Free Coastlines and runs parallel with Plastic Free Schools and Beach Cleans.
Surfer's Against Sewage manifesto
“ We live in a plastic world. It’s an extraordinarily useful, versatile, cheap material. It’s everywhere and it’s a growth industry, with one in every ten barrels of oil now used to create new plastic. But together, we can make sure we kick our addiction to avoidable single-use plastic, and change the system that produces it. We can make sure we don’t choke our streets, parks and playgrounds with it. Because if it’s on our street today, then it’s in our rivers tomorrow, and our beaches and oceans forever.
We can make sure each of us understands that we can change this, whoever we are and wherever we live. But we can only do all of this together. That’s why we’re proud to be part of our Plastic-Free Community. We’re part of a community network across the UK that’s tackling single-use plastic from our beaches, rivers and green spaces, all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it. We’re on a journey to unite our community in the fight against single-use plastics, wherever we find them. It starts here and it starts with us. And if you’re still reading this, that means you too. So join us and let’s free where we live from single-use, one plastic bottle at a time.”
What Sobo Wastebusters want
The ethos shared by SAS resonates strongly with our own; inspiring others and uniting the community through positive action. Whilst our mission is to encourage our community to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle in general, the Plastic Free Communities campaign was born out of focus on protecting oceans, beaches, waves and wildlife. However, our location on the beautiful Bournemouth coastline makes this our business and forms a natural part of our own mission.
Through our work so far, SWB has developed a platform on social media upon which we educate, inspire and motivate positive and practical action on climate change; by coincidence, partnership development with local businesses has already mobilised aspects of the Plastic Free Communities ambition; and our events have brought these businesses together with local residents and volunteer led community projects, adding to the driving force for change in Southbourne. There is clear compassion expressed by our local community; a desire for change; and a thirst for knowledge to push for more. As our visibility in Southbourne (and beyond) continues to grow, we consider ourselves in a prime position to capitalise on this energy and promote the agenda set by the Plastic Free Communities Campaign.
Will you join us?
Before we gain accreditation, there is some work to do. Collaboration underpins this work however, which is why we would be delighted if you would consider getting involved.
The 5 KEY GOALS we must achieve are:
1. BCP Council to commit to plastic-free initiatives. SINGLE-USE IS NO USE
2. Encourage local businesses to commit to removing single-use plastic items.
3. Engage with the Southbourne community, bring on board organisations like schools, employers and community groups.
4. Hold plastic-free events where to spread the word about reducing single-use plastic; organise beach and river cleans.
5. Set up a steering group made up of various people in the community to meet regularly and keep reviewing progress.
We are particularly keen for your input with goals contact us to help out on this important journey