Green groups encouraging people to ditch single-use plastic

PUBLISHED: 10:02 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:02 06 March 2018

Sustainable St Albans is aiming to tackle plastic pollution which is killing more than one million sea birds annually.

Sustainable St Albans is aiming to tackle plastic pollution which is killing more than one million sea birds annually.

Samir Delic

An alliance of green groups is encouraging St Albans to go plastic-free.

St Albans Friends of the Earth and the brain behind the #refusethestraw campaign are backing Plastic Free St Albans and encouraging people to stop using single-use products like bottles, straws and balloons.

Friends of the Earth’s Amanda Yorwerth said: “Plastic pollution is entering the marine environment, killing over one million sea birds annually.

“We have to do something urgently and we can start by ditching single-use plastics.”

Plastic Free St Albans was founded by Emma Tyers, who previously ran the St Albans #refusethestraw campaign which helped persuade 30 businesses to switch from plastic straws to bio-degradable ones.

She said: “The response from local businesses on #refusethestraw has been fantastic and I wanted to expand the campaign.

“Plastic Free St Albans aims to reduce the local use of single-use plastic including plastic straws, plastic bottles and the use of balloons for festive occasions.

“The plastic used for these items can last for 450 years in the marine environment, and never truly go away.

“This means that every piece of plastic that has ever been produced is still with us, in some form.

“We are urging local people and businesses to change their habits and get rid of these unnecessary single-use plastics.”

The campaign is being launched on Sunday, April 22 as part of the annual Sustainable St Albans Week.

To mark the start of the campaign, there will be a plastic-free picnic in Highfield Park with children’s activities from 12pm to 2pm, where people are asked to bring as little plastic as possible.

Also on Sunday, there will also be a screening at The Odyssey of A Plastic Ocean, a film made by the same people as Blue Planet.

After the screening, there will be a panel discussion involving Emma Tyers, Sandy Adams, an environmentalist and keen diver, and Ruby Raut, who runs a business which produces eco-friendly reusable period wear.

Sandy said: “As a diver I have seen the impact of plastic pollution close up on my underwater trips in oceans on the other side of the world and I am committed to working in my home city of St Albans to reduce our use of single-use plastic.”

Ruby recently founded WUKA, a new business producing eco-friendly reusable period wear.

She said: “There is a taboo about talking about period wear, but both tampons and sanitary pads are examples of single-use plastics that are retained on the Earth’s surface for a very long time.

“As a local business I believe Plastic Free St Albans is something we should all be supporting.“

Ruby is also speaking on ‘Saving The Planet One Month At A Time’ at Sustainable St Albans Week’s launch event ‘Our Planet, Our Future’, at Rothamsted Research on Saturday April 21.

For more information on Sustainable St Albans Week visit www.sustainablestalbans.org
For more on the Plastic Free St Albans campaign visit www.plasticfreestalbans.org.uk

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