Transition Town Letchworth have signed up with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) as the Plastic Free Community Leader for Letchworth.

We have worked through the Plastic Free Coastlines Community Toolkit and Letchworth is now an Approved Plastic Free Community. To achieve this we completed the following five objectives.

1) LOCAL GOVERNANCE: Local Council passes a resolution to support Plastic Free Coastlines, committing to plastic free alternatives and supporting plastic free initiatives in Letchworth.

2) LOCAL BUSINESSES: At least three single-use plastic items removed from at least 12 local businesses and retailers and replaced with sustainable alternatives.

3) PLASTIC FREE ALLIES: Gain widespread community support by spreading the Plastic Free message to groups that look after 50% of community spaces (e.g. Norton Common, community centres, halls, places of worship, libraries), 30% of schools and at least one community organisation (e.g. Scouts, Girl Guides, Women’s Institute).

4) ON THE GROUND ACTION: Arrange at least two local community events in a year, for example a litter clearance, which are open for all to attend.

5) STRATEGIC GROUP: Form a local group of stakeholders (which must include a council member) who should meet at least once per year to plan and discuss the progress of Plastic Free Letchworth.

The approved plastic free community award recognises the significant work that has taken place, but there is still much more that can be done to reduce local dependence on single-use plastics. We are keen to work with local businesses, venue managers and community organisations to help find ways to reduce the use of single-use plastics.

Click for ideas on how we can reduce our plastic use as individuals.

Three projects which the Plastic Free Letchworth Team are currently working to deliver are:


Businesses Supporting Plastic Free Letchworth Who Have Removed At Least 3 Single-Use Items

Bamboo Turtle, Broadway Cinema, Broadway Hotel, Cooks Boutique, Craftys Beer, David’s Bookshop and café, Fairhaven Wholefoods Ltd, Norton Way Gallery, Miss Green Fingers, Nourish café, Salon Group, Stevenage Leisure Limited, The Cakey-Lady, Vutibeets, Willmott Dixon

Click for ideas for businesses on how to reduce their use of plastics.

Schools who have undertaken activities to reduce single-use plastics

Lordship Farm Primary School have achieved the Plastic Free School accreditation with Surfers Against Sewage.

Garden City Academy, Garden City Montessori, Icknield Infants and Nursery School, ,St Christopher School, Wilbury Junior School, Woolgrove School have all undertaken activities to raise awareness and reduce their use of plastics.

Click for ideas on how to involve your school in the Plastic Free Letchworth project.

Community Venue Owners Who Have Reviewed Their Practices to Reduce Single Use Plastic

Broadway Theatre and Cinema, Central Methodist Church, Howgill’s Quaker Meeting House, Jackmans Community Centre, Letchworth Free Church, Letchworth Library, North Hertfordshire District Council, Scout Hut (Spring Road), Stevenage Leisure Limited, Mrs Howard Hall, St Pauls Church and Church Hall, St Thomas’s Church

Click for ideas for ideas on how to reduce plastic at community venues.

Community Groups Who Have Raised Awareness / Taken Action on Single-Use Plastic Problem

1st Baldock Scouts, 2nd Baldock Scouts, 2nd Letchworth Rainbows, 4th Letchworth Scouts, 5th Letchworth Scouts, 7th Letchworth Cubs,11th Letchworth Scouts, 18th Letchworth Brownies, Discover Letchworth, Letchworth BID, Letchworth Ladies Circle, Letchworth Arts and Leisure Group, Letchworth Rotary Group, Letchworth WI, North Herts Road Runners, Over 50s Club.

Let us know what you are doing to reduce your use of plastics that others can learn from and we will share these ideas as part of this initiative.


Plastic Free July

Over the last few months we’ve had so much else to worry about that plastic pollution has taken a back seat. But the problem hasn’t gone away, so perhaps now is the time to take action again. As government advice on the places where we need to wear facemasks widens from public transport to inside shops, we need to reject disposable face mask options. Lots of local people are making masks out of scrap materials, and retailers are now selling washable, biodegradable masks, which do not cause unnecessary waste. As it is ‘Plastic Free July’ it would be a good … more

Lifestyle changes to limit Covid-19 also help to repair our climate

We are in the grip of the Covid-19 crisis. It is restricting us in all areas of life, and causes so much suffering. But we know it will pass, and afterwards we will re-orient ourselves. Other topics will re-emerge, one of which will certainly be climate change. How will we look back and reflect then? Here a few numbers on our carbon footprints, and what effect the current restrictions have on it. Taking into account UK production and import of goods, the average person in the UK produces 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per year. To gradually achieve … more

Letchworth’s New Years Community Litter Pick

The Plastic Free Letchworth team were out for their first litter pick of the year on Sunday, cleaning up an area of the Greenway where it borders the town’s industrial estate. Glyn Holt, who was there with his daughter Ffion told us, “it was great to have other families helping out on what was a FRESH frosty morning. During the hour and a half we had no trouble filling ALL the reusable bags that ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ provide to Plastic Free Communities. The area is clearly a popular place for a snack, and we found a range of single-use take … more

A Plastic Free Picnic

Transition Town Letchworth’s have partnered with Letchworth Heritage Foundation on Field Day, 6th July 2019, to host an event on the Greenway. There will be craft activities, games and a storytelling session followed by a litter pick between 1pm to 2pm. Attendees are being encouraged to bring a single-use plastic free picnic and we are looking forward to seeing how attendees meet this challenge. Here are some ideas on how to avoid single use plastic when picnicking: Bring your drink in a reusable bottle. Pack up your sandwiches in a reusable container, paper or foil, rather than wrapping it in clingfilm or a … more

Letchworth, the UKs first garden city, is the first town in Hertfordshire to be awarded ‘Plastic Free Communities’ Status as it takes action on single-use plastic.

Letchworth Garden City has joined a network of communities across the UK who are leading the way on tackling throw away plastic. The town has been awarded Plastic Free Community Approved status by Marine Conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in recognition of the work it has done to start reducing the impact of single-use plastic on the environment. Transition Town Letchworth, a charity whose aim is to tackle climate change locally,started the campaign in January 2018 with a lively public meeting which was fortuitously aligned with the final episode of Blue Planet II. Registering with the SAS Plastic Free … more

Tackling Climate Change One Milk Carton At A Time

Recently we have seen high profile public campaigns seeking to persuade those in office to take action to address climate change. As individuals we regularly feel disempowered. But sometimes there are some politically difficult problems that individuals can get on with solving, leading by example. As part of the Plastic Free Letchworth team we have been talking to local schools about switching from milk in cartons with straws to bottles of milk and reusable beakers. Cool Milk, our local school milk provider, are implementing solutions that will reduce the overall volume of plastic waste associated with school milk. Some schools … more

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