July was officially Plastic Free month and to help raise awareness of the need to ditch single-use plastic, Sustainable Amersham took a stall at the regular Tuesday market in Amersham on the Hill. The team were supported by several other eco-minded stalls to help show shoppers how we can all make a difference and reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce and find sustainable, plastic-free alternatives.
The biggest and most valuable swap you can make is a switch in mindset — think before you buy and think before you throw anything away. An easy way to start is to switch to using a refillable coffee cup when you are out and about. Over 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year in the UK and less than 1% of these are recycled. We were selling refillable cups on the day made from recycled plastic by Circular&Co and we handed out over 150 leaflets with 8 simple tips on how to go plastic free.
Supporting Sustainable Amersham in the market were Michael Walker from Little Walkers Refill Shop and Café based on Sycamore Road. They sell a range of eco and plastic-free products as well as refillable laundry and cleaning products and groceries. This family-run business is passionate about making a difference to the amount of plastic waste we produce.
The Buckinghamshire recycling team were on hand to answer all those tricky questions about what to recycle and how to recycle responsibly. They offered advice to shoppers about what materials can be usefully recycled and how to avoid contaminating recycling collections, which renders them useless. It’s all about the right package in the right bin. For more information on recycling, see the Bucks Waste Wizard.
The team were also supported by the Amersham Museum who had information about the history of our town and life in Amersham before plastic arrived. We were delighted to have newly elected MP Sarah Green visit the stalls to talk about the vision of a single use plastic free town and how we can all work together to achieve the goal by 2025.
As an unexpected bonus on the day, we were joined by photographer James Barratt who was passing through Amersham as part of a 400 mile walk to raise awareness about climate change. He was able to share his story live on air with Bucks Breakfast radio show who were covering our event.
Going plastic free is a journey and it’s all about changing our daily habits and learning how to incorporate new sustainable habits over time. Use up all the products you already have and recycle the containers responsibly — you can then replace them with new plastic-free versions as you need them.
The next Plastic Free Day will be on Monday 30th August during the Old Amersham Market.