Project Objectives

There are five key objectives that we need to meet to gain Plastic Free Community accreditation:


  • 1 Demonstrate support from the local council

  • 2 Local businesses take action to reduce single-use plastic

  • 3 Involve local organisations and community groups

  • 4 Hold Plastic Free Events

  • 5 Form a steering group for the project

1. Local Council Involvement - Achieved!

We needed Mole Valley District Council to:
  • Pass a resolution supporting the Plastic Free Community project
  • Lead by example by taking action to reduce and ultimately remove single-use plastic items from their premises
  • Support the project by one councillor joining the steering group

SAS have confirmed that the measures that MVDC have taken means we have achieved this objective. MVDC have declared a climate emergency; pledged to reduce the use of single use plastic; and passed the Climate Strategy in October 2020 which includes the support of local communities aiming for plastic-free status. In June 2020 MVDC officially approved not one but two councillors to join our steering group.

2. Local Business Involvement - Started

We need at least six local SME businesses to:
  • Remove at least three single-use plastic items or replace them with sustainable alternatives. Any measures that have already been taken count towards the three items.
  • Have a plan going forward for tackling any remaining items
  • One local business has begun its Plastic Free journey and has been awarded a Bronze Business Champion award. If you run a local business and would like to be part of this project, please get in touch.

3. Involve Local Organisations and Groups - Just one more needed!

We need to get 20 "Community Allies" involved, with a mix of schools, public spaces, organisations and groups. Each ally has to sign a pledge, committing to remove at least three single-use plastic items (if used) or replace them with sustainable alternatives, and publicly promote and support the project. 

We've signed up 19 allies so far. If you help run a local organisation or community group that's based in or covers Bookham and would like to become one of our allies, please get in touch.

4. Hold Plastic Free Community Events - Renewed in 2024

A busy morning's litter picking
We needed to organise two Plastic Free events in a calendar year, which we originally did in 2020. We renewed this in 2024 : we set up a stall in the High Street to promote the 2024 Big Plastic Count in March and held a drop-in morning at the St Nicolas Pastoral Centre in May.

The Bookhams Residents' Association already holds a monthly litter pick which helps clear plastic from our community - though this didn't count towards our events. You can look after an individual road or area by becoming a Womble! 

We originally held our first event (online) in July 2020 by hosting a screening of The Story of Plastic documentary, followed by an online discussion about the issues raised. A October 2020 fund-raising event counted as our second.

5. Form a Steering Group - Achieved for 2020 - 2024

We are required to form a steering group for the project made up of local stakeholders, with the specific requirements that:
  • There must be a council representative
  • There should also be a local business representative
  • Must meet at least twice a year
  • Must report progress to Surfers Against Sewage (SAS)
  • The group collects evidence to apply for Plastic Free Community accreditation 

SAS have approved this objective for 2020 - 2023. We've formed our initial steering group, met twice in 2020, 2021, 2022 and three times in 2023 - mostly virtually. So far we've met twice in 2024, As mentioned above we're very fortunate to have two council representatives involved.