Plastic-Free Hythe and Sandgate
It’s becoming clear to all of us that plastic pollution is a huge problem; littering streets and green spaces, and finding its way into seas and rivers. Every day millions of pieces of plastic enter the oceans killing marine mammals, turtles and seabirds. As a coastal community, many of us are aware of the threats and want to do something about it, which is evident in the work performed by local activist groups who organise regular litter picks.
While reducing litter is an important step, the problem goes far deeper and requires a holistic approach if it is to be tackled effectively. We’ve learned from media coverage such as the BBC programme ‘War on Plastic’, that only 9% of global plastic is recycled; and a recent study also warns that the proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change by contributing to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its life cycle.
The solution is to try and cut out single-use plastic, which can be very difficult to achieve, particularly when we’re busy and alternatives are often more expensive. That’s why Hythe is following in the footsteps of other towns such as Whitstable by signing up with ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ to complete the 5 objectives required to achieve Plastic Free Community status.
So far, Objective 1 has been achieved in Hythe, as the Town Council has pledged to support plastic-free initiatives and remove single-use plastic from its premises. A handful of local businesses and one primary school have already signed up to the programme, while others such as Hythe Town Football Club have taken these steps independently.
There is a long way to go, but Plastic Free Communities is a worthwhile movement that unites and empowers people to address their plastic footprint together.
If you would like to get involved, please contact me on J.Hawkins@hythe-tc.gov.uk