Twyford receives Plastic Free recognition

environmental protection

TWYFORD has been awarded Plastic Free Community status for the action it has taken on single-use plastic. 

The village has joined a network of communities across the country who are trying to tackle discarded plastic at source. 

The award was granted by marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

Gordon Holmes, co-ordinator for Twyford Rethinks Its Plastic (TRIP), started the campaign in June last year.

Mr Holmes registered with the SAS Plastic Free Communities movement, and coordinated organisations and businesses in the town to put in place a five-point plan. 

This included setting up a community-led steering group, instigating the SAS Plastic Free Schools education programme, getting local council commitment and working with local businesses, organisations and community groups to spread the word and minimise the number of disposable plastics they use. 

“We have had tremendous support from the community of Twyford,” Mr Holmes said. “The businesses we have approached to give up or substitute single use plastic items have not hesitated in doing so, in fact many of them had already started the process before we even approached them which is very encouraging.” 

Many companies have replaced plastic cutlery, takeaway food bags, and medicine bottles.

The group also set up Terracycle drop off points for crisp and biscuit packets, as well as medicine blister packs.

It has also arranged litter pick sessions for waste in the streets.

Mr Holmes added: “The steering committee is proud to have achieved the Plastic Free Community status and we want this to continue. 

“The journey doesn’t stop here, the five-point plan needs to be maintained and the objectives need to be refreshed all the time. Hopefully the pandemic will end soon, so that we can do more in the coming year as we would really like to get the schools to take a more active role in the fight against plastic pollution.”

Rachel Yates, project officer at SAS Plastic Free Communities, said: “It’s great to see the work that Twyford has done to reduce the availability of avoidable plastics, raise awareness and encourage people to refill and reuse. 

 “We have over six hundred communities across the UK working to reduce single use plastic and the impact it has on our environment. 

“Every step those communities and the individuals in them take is a step towards tackling the problem at source, challenging our throwaway culture and encouraging the habit and system changes we need to see.”

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