PACT has begun a campaign to reduce single-use plastic in Eden.
We’ve started by setting up a new Refill scheme for Penrith, with other towns in Eden and across Cumbria getting under way, too. You can now get your water bottle refilled with tap water in more than 20 shops, cafes and other premises in the town centre.
We've also been highlighting the problems caused by single-use plastic, including the damage it causes when it ends up in the ocean. You might have seen this in the BBC's Blue Planet 2 series or at a screening of the film A Plastic Ocean.
Want to make a difference? Then make some pledges to reduce your use of plastic:
We're spreading the word through our local media, too. You can read a few of our letters to the editor below.
- Letter to the Herald about Plastics campaign in September 2017
- Letter to the Herald about Refill scheme, December 2017
- Letter to the Herald about the government's Plastic Plans, January 2018
- Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could cut use of plastic?, Herald, March 2018
- Letter to the Herald re proposed new water bottling plant, January 2019
Other ways we're tackling plastic - and you can help!
Lobbying supermarkets/manufacturers – We’ve begun contacting firms to ask for plastic-free packaging on products. Is there a product you use regularly that could be packaged in something other than plastic? Please write to the manufacturer and encourage them to make the switch. It would be really useful if you could email Nigel from PACT, who’s keeping a log of firms that people have contacted, and what the outcome was. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wider campaigns – Let’s add our voice to national and international campaigns to drive change on plastic use. We’ve listed a few campaigns you can join in with below, and if you come across others, please let us know.
- Greenpeace campaign on Coke
- 38 Degrees petition to UK supermarkets
- A Plastic Planet campaign for a plastic-free aisle in supermarkets
Non-plastic options locally – Join the Plastic Free Cumbria group on Facebook, where people are sharing news and ideas for finding products without plastic.
Also visit plasticfreecumbria.com for a directory of shops and suppliers of products like toiletries.
We’re also looking into bulk-buying discounts for drinking cups and food containers that don't contain plastic, to help more Penrith businesses to move away from single-use plastic.
Events - PACT is looking into creating or sourcing a code of practice on plastics at events. We’ve been talking to the organisers of a few of Penrith’s big events, as well as other major events around Cumbria, to talk about how they could reduce plastic such as single-use drinks bottles and food containers. We’ve also been in touch with a national body for event organisers and we’re following up leads they’ve given us with people who have done some work around sustainability at events.
Keep up to date
Join our new Facebook group, Friends of PACT, where you can chat about plastics and all-things sustainability.
And join the Plastic-Free Cumbria Facebook group.
Join the list to get our Action on Plastics in Penrith newsletter
Why single-use plastic is a problem
In a nutshell, plastic is having a devastating effect on nature, and it’s now in our food chain, too.
- Only a third of plastic packaging gets recycled in the UK. Most ends up in landfill or gets incinerated or ends up in our oceans - link
- 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans every year, where it kills animals and birds that eat it or get caught up in it. One in four fish now has toxins in its flesh due to eating plastic - link
- Plastic fibres are now in the water we drink, too - link
PACT collected 10 bags of litter on a 200m stretch of Ullswater in October 2017, including approx 50 plastic bottles and 100 cans:
Huge amounts of litter have been collected all around our coast, including this gargantuan pile on Skye: