Plastic Free Communities

Plastic Free Towns

More and more communities across the UK are aiming to become ‘Plastic Free’ and are looking at ways to reduce their use of single-use plastics (SUPs). Part of this drive has come from a realisation about just how many throwaway plastics end up polluting the environment - whether this is land litter (the majority of which will ultimately make its way into our streams, seas and oceans) or questions about how sustainable using plastic really is.

Plastic Free Coleford

Plastic Free Coleford was formed in spring 2019 and is a pilot project between Coleford Town Council and the Forest of Dean District Council. The aim of the scheme is to support residents and businesses in the town over the next three years to reduce - or preferably eliminate – the use of single-use plastics.

The project is still in its infancy but proposed actions already include: engaging with all school children in the parish and their parents to look at ways to reduce the use of SUPs in lunchboxes, visiting retailers to gain their buy in to the idea and identifying more sustainable alternatives to the SUPs currently used by those businesses, working with traders at key local events to reduce reliance on SUPs, encouraging local supermarkets to reduce plastic packaging and also raising awareness around the problem of these often thrown away plastics.

If successful, it is hoped Plastic Free Coleford can be used as a template for businesses, schools, the local community and other towns and villages to reduce their use of SUPs.  In due course, case studies will be available on this web page to show what has been achieved so that others can learn from the project's experience.

Plastics are petroleum based products so the less we use and throw away the less carbon is burned.

Plastic Free Coleford forms part of the greater ambition of the district council to achieve carbon neutrality across the Forest of Dean district by 2030.


More information:

Surfers Against Sewage:  a marine conservation charity which offers help and advice for communities looking to go plastic free whether they are by the coast or inland. The charity also runs its own ‘plastic free community’ accreditation.

Refill:  a national scheme which helps people find free water refill points in their local area to avoid the need to buy new plastic drinks bottles.

Eco Schools: is a national programme headed up by Keep Britain Tidy and which aims to empower school-aged children to learn more about the environment and how they can improve it.

Action on Plastic: a Gloucestershire community group taking action against single use plastic across the county.

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