Plastic Free Chepstow

Plastic Free Chepstow

Plastic Free Chepstow is one of the newest voluntary groups in Chepstow. Set up in February this year
and linked with Transition Chepstow, it is planning to make a big difference. Its objectives are straightforward but ambitious: to drastically reduce the amount of plastic that is used once then thrown away,
and to eliminate plastic litter from our streets and countryside.

The reasons for this are compelling. Most of the plastic that has ever been made is still with us, much of it entering the oceans with devastating effects on marine life. 5,000 pieces of plastic pollution, including more than 150 plastic bottles, have been found for every mile of beach in the United Kingdom. A UN report has suggested that if current trends continue unchecked there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. While action by governments is important, the group believes that local action – by every one of us – is essential. 

Amongst Plastic Free Chepstow’s first actions has been the campaign SOS – Straws off Streets. Local pubs, restaurants and cafes are being encouraged to give up plastic straws and donate them to primary schools, where children have been invited to turn them into sculptures. To help inspire them, local businesses Compose Management Limited, Moore Language Solutions and Cherished Earth Wholefoods have donated a series of books to seven local primary schools. Wild Tribe Heroes tells the stories of animals who are damaged by the thoughtlessness of humans, bringing environmental problems to life through simple stories and beautiful illustrations. Their author, Ellie Jackson, will judge the competition, and winning entries will be on display in June in the library and under the town archway. 

The group is working hard to get Chepstow recognised as a Plastic Free Town – a process set up by the organisation Surfers Against Sewage. To achieve this requires the support of local government, businesses, and community organisations. Chepstow Town Council has already demonstrated its commitment, passing a resolution to remove single-use plastics from its own premises and the events it supports. 

During Plastic Free Chepstow Week (June 10-17) there will be a range of events promoting Plastic Free Chepstow, including on June 10 a stall at the Sunday market, on June 12 a talk (promoted by Chepstow Bookshop) from Martin Dorey, author of No.More.Plastic, and the following weekend a litter-picking walk followed by a Plastic Free picnic. For details of these events and more, visit the group’s Facebook page Plastic-Free Chepstow. 

Chepstow residents looking to cut down on the amount of plastic they use can remember the ‘5Rs’ – refuse unnecessary plastic, refill your water bottle and coffee cup – and also your washing-up liquid and laundry bottles, replace single-use plastic with more sustainable alternatives and recycle whatever you can. Last but not least, take a bag when you go out and remove plastic litter from your street or park: together we can eliminate plastic litter from Chepstow.