Transition Town Letchworth publicly launched the Plastic Free Letchworth project in the town centre on Earth Weekend (21st and 22nd April 2018). We were in the town centre letting shoppers know about the challenges the town has to meet to achieve the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Letchworth award.

Local shops Bamboo Turtle and Fairhaven provided sample ‘plastic free’ goods for displaying at the event and the team shared ideas with shoppers on how to reduce their use of plastics. Shoppers were invited to pledge to reduce or remove a particular plastic from their daily lives and those making a pledge were rewarded with an ‘I support a Plastic Free Letchworth’ cloth shopping bag. Seventy-four people posted a pledge to make a change, with the most popular changes identified being to reduce the plastic used in kitchens and to stop buying bottled water. Letchworth BID provided the cloth shopping bags.

The stall was busy all morning with people who are already making changes to reduce their use of plastics and others who were keen to make changes. Its heartening to know that so many people want to see a reduction in the use of plastics. During the morning Sir Oliver Heald MP came to visit the stall and made his pledge.

During the launch event a large sculpture in the shape of a water bottle was made from single use plastic bottles, giving a visual illustration of the large volumes of plastic waste that we have in our lives. A message that was re-enforced when bags of waste, much of it plastic, were collected from Hillbrow play area at the Plastic Free Letchworth litter pick, which took place on Sunday to mark Earth Day. We picked a total of 15 large sacks plus scooter parts! Five of the 15 bags was recycling and has been recycled in a household grey bin. We also found and returned a lost mobile phone! Quite a lot for a play area that at first glance didn’t look too dirty.

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