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.

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

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

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

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.

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

David’s Bookshop and café
Bamboo Turtle
Nourish café
The Cakey-Lady
Broadway Hotel
Craftys Beer
Broadway cinema
Salon Group
Cooks Boutique
Stevenage Leisure
Willmott Dixon
Fairhaven Wholefoods Ltd

Recycling Plastics

TTL recognise that it is not always easy to replace all plastic items. To reduce plastics items that are sent to incineration or landfill, 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.


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

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