Buckinghamshire residents are being urged to become part of the plastic pollution solution and see how far they can go in reducing their use of single use plastic during the global, month-long initiative, Plastic Free July.
With awareness of the problems plastic pollution is having on our planet at an all-time high, Buckinghamshire Council is taking the opportunity to remind residents of the many local initiatives aimed at reducing all types of waste and showing the many simple things all of us can do to make a difference.
One of the easiest ways to start, is to take a look at Buckinghamshire Recycles Zero Waste Map. This handy tool provides an online directory for all the local places where you can reduce your waste including re-use shops, community fridges and upcycling schemes as well as listing all recycling points around the county and details of the household recycling centres.
Another way to make a change, for those with babies and toddlers, is to switch from using disposable nappies to reusable cloth nappies. Disposable nappies are made from plastic, paper pulp and a variety of chemicals and glue. Babies have around 5,000 nappy changes up to potty training, which is a lot of nappies to put in the bin. Cloth nappies can be 40% better for the environment, even with the extra washing machine cycles. Find out more information about the Buckinghamshire Nappy Scheme online.
Last September, Buckinghamshire Recycles introduced its new Reduce Single Use Plastic schools initiative which encourages schools to sign up to a pledge to reduce single use plastics within school. Haddenham Community Infant School became the first school to achieve a gold award for its efforts. Currently aimed at primary schools, the scheme will be opened up to secondary schools from September.
There are numerous, easy ways we can all try to reduce single use plastics and waste:
Use refillable water bottles and coffee cups
Avoid using bathroom and cleaning products in single-use containers – there are lots of places you can refill existing bottles again and again. Check out the Zero Waste Map for locations
Consider using more environmentally friendly sanitary products
Make use of reusable bags when shopping
And where it is impossible not to use some plastics, make sure you recycle as much as you can. Check our Waste Wizard tool to find out what you can recycle and where.
Gareth Williams, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment said: “Plastic pollution is a very serious problem that is not going to go away without a concerted effort by each and every one of us. Throughout their lifecycle, plastics emit greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. As a council we are very mindful of what we can do to lessen the impact of climate change and are making positive changes wherever possible. Our Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy sets out our commitment to helping tackle these issues at a local level. We want to encourage our residents and communities to join us on our mission. Small actions build up to make a big difference if everyone is committed to the cause. This is about improving our environment now and protecting it for future generations so I would urge everyone to get involved.”
Buckinghamshire Council has just been awarded Bronze accreditation as a Carbon Literate Organisation by the Carbon Literacy Project. The award reflects the ongoing Carbon Literacy Training offered to staff and councillors. Carbon Literacy is an awareness of the climate impacts of everyday actions and understanding of the need to create a positive shift in the way we live, work and behave, in response to climate change. This accreditation further demonstrates the council's commitment set out in its Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy, in reducing waste and carbon within the county.
Find out more about Plastic Free July online.