Reduce
Spending on new goods is encouraged through advertising and seen as a mechanism for economy growth, but how many of the goods we buy are really necessary and how much fossil fuel is associated with these goods? Our cupboards often contain items we seldom use. We sense that more people are realising that happiness gained from a shopping trip does not last long but decluttering our lives has a more lasting impact. Take a look at the Story of Stuff for a thought provoking video.

Reuse and Recycle
A circular economy is one in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value from them, then recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of their existing service life. It is an alternative to the linear economy of make, use and dispose. Circular economies are often discussed in terms of manufactured products, but goods often end up with consumers, so its critical that when consumers have finished with an item it is reused or recycled to maximise the material content. A more circular economy will, reduce waste, improve productivity, address resource security and scarcity issues and reduce the environmental impacts of our production and consumption.

GETTING INVOLVED
Transition Town Letchworth support initiatives to help reduce people’s consumption and also promote organisations and events that facilitate reuse, repair and repurposing. TTL introduced ‘garage sales’ to the town. TTL currently have a number of activities to tackle the issue of waste and welcome new volunteers to help with these activities:

  • TTL are the Community Leader for a project implementing the Surfers Against Sewage Community Toolkit to reduce single-use plastic and gain Plastic Free Letchworth status . Have a look at the projects Plastic Free Letchworth webpage to find out more.
  • We are gathering ideas on a vision of a circular economy in Letchworth and feeding these ideas into our waste authorities consultations.
  • TTL are involved in facilitating a Town Centre collection point for hard to recycle plastics. These plastics are recycled for rewards by local charities and schools through a scheme set up by Terracycle. Click here for a list of products you can take to Bamboo Turtle (5 The Arcade, Letchworth) for recycling.

 


STUFF / WASTE RELATED BLOG POSTS

Letchworth’s Big Spring Clean

On Sunday morning members of the Plastic Free Letchworth Team held a litter pick at the Jackman’s Play Area in Letchworth as their contribution to the ‘Surfers Against Sewage Big Spring Beach Clean’. Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) had asked their Plastic Free Community Groups across the country to join them in their truly ‘epic community response to plastic pollution on our beaches, rivers, streets and mountains’. Teams were provided with reusable bags and gloves to help ensure that this event did not contribute any more single-use plastic to the planet. In just over an hour and a half a team of six … more

Books to Schools to Tackle Plastic Problem

A mother of four has written a series of books to help educate children about the impact of plastics on ocean ecosystems and a grant from North Herts District Council’s Letchworth Area Committee has been given to the Plastic Free Letchworth Project to provide a copy of these books to all the primary schools in Letchworth.Ellie Jackson, who lives by the sea in Looe, Cornwall, wrote her first book while living in Australia. It was inspired by a year spent on a tropical island, during which she and her family saw a turtle being released back into the ocean after a year of … more

Letchworth Festival Children’s Art Competition

Prizes were awarded for the Letchworth Festival Children’s Art Competition at last Sunday’s Park Live event by Vice-Chair of the Council, Councillor Green. Transition Town Letchworth sponsored this year’s competition, which had the theme of Plastic Free Letchworth. There were 371 entries and these were displayed throughout the Festival in the Community Museum and the Garden City Shopping Centre. Seven schools took part in the competition along with a Rainbow and Brownie Unit. Diane Ketcher, who helped judge the competition, said “The artwork has been full of important messages which the children wanted to share. It was quite a challenge to choose the winners”. Woolgrove schools … more

Plastic Free Letchworth at the Food Festival

The Plastic Free Letchworth team were out at the food festival this Saturday. We had been busy the week before exploring the easiest method for making beeswax wraps to replace cling film and made up beeswax wrap kits for people to purchase on the day. We also had some re-usable material snack bags and net bags for buying loose fruit and veg on the stall. It was great talking to people about what changes they had been making to reduce their dependance on plastic. For example, it turns out small squares of reusable baby wipes also make great re-usable make-up cleansing cloths. … more

Plastic Free Letchworth Project Update

It’s good to see that reducing our plastic use is still in the news with national initiatives likely to lead to the end of plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers. As we talk to people about the Plastic Free Letchworth project we hear about changes people are making in their own lives as well as changes being made in their workplace and business. There is a growing understanding that the solution to the plastics problem will involve us changing what we do as individuals as well as businesses changing. Locally, lots is happening. The cupcake company on the Wynd have been … more

Plastic Free Letchworth Launch Weekend

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 … more

Plastic Free Project Update

Our Plastic Free Letchworth Campaign is gaining momentum. We are now registered with Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Community project and Letchworth Garden City is on their map. We are busy planning our public launch event in Leys Square which will be at the Farmers Market on the 21st April. To mark Earth Day on the 22nd April we will be holding our first litter pick. The children’s art competition at the Letchworth Festival is going to be themed on ‘Plastic Free Letchworth’. Click here to find out how your school or youth group can take part. We have asked local business if they … more

FANTASTIC PLASTIC?

A record breaking 44 people attended TTL’s Tuesday talk this week. Plastic is hot news at the moment! After an introduction to the topic giving a global overview and a description of what happens to our recycling waste, the attendees gathered into groups to explore the issues of: Reduce, Re-use / Repurpose, Recycle and Influencing.   The ideas which came up were many and varied, some useful, others amusing! Well. you can’t be serious all the time! Here are some of them: REDUCE:  in the home, use glass for containers and wood for things such as chopping boards and stirring spoons;  instead of clingfilm use plates and … more

Eco Waste and Recycling

In mid May TTL hosted a Talk by a team from a local recycling company, Eco Waste & Recycling Ltd (www.eco-skiphire.co.uk). The company is keen to promote sustainable best practices. As far a possible, it is part of a ‘circular economy’ of many kinds of materials.Their business is commercial skip hire, they do not receive municipal or household waste, but they do handle skipfulls of commercial, industrial, construction and demolition ‘waste’ materials and objects. They sort the waste by type of materials, including up to ten kinds of plastic. When a sufficient quantity of any kind has been gathered, it … more

Recycling in Herts

UK Government decision allows for future high rates of recycling in Hertfordshire In mid-July, Greg Clark, the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government re-confirmed his predecesor Eric Pickles’ decision to refuse planning permission to waste contractor Veolia Environmental Services for a Mass Burn Incinerator to be sited in New Barnfield in Hatfield. What has this to do with TTL? Well, the proposed central facility would have disposed of residual, municipal waste from every part of the county, including mixed materials with recyclable components such as the foodstuffs and plastics that householders choose not to put in their recycling bins. … more