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. As Transition Bookham we're also represented on Mole Valley Environment Forum.
2. Local Business Involvement - Started
We need at least six local 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. 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 - Started
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 six allies so far. If you help run a local organisation or community group and would like to be involved with this project, please get in touch.
4. Hold Plastic Free Community Events - Achieved!
|A busy morning's litter picking|
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!
SAS have approved this objective. We 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 and 2021
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 and 2021. We've formed our initial steering group and met twice in 2020 and 2021 - mostly virtually. As mentioned above we're very fortunate to currently have two council representatives involved.