Creating a plastic free village

People, living in and around East Haven have decided to take up the challenge of creating a plastic free village in an effort to raise awareness about the damage plastic is causing the environment and to reduce waste. It is no easy feat because plastic is so much a part of our daily lives to the extent that we don't always know we are even using it. Tea bags, being a case in point as they contain polypropylene which helps them keep their shape. Apparently more than 9 tonnes of plastic waste is created every year in the UK from tea bags alone.  We have now been holding litter picks and beach cleans for 25 years so we are well aware of just how much plastic waste is being produced. We realise that every person on the planet has a responsibility to stop using single use plastic items and use materials which are reusable and eco-friendly.

In 2015 we developed a sustainability strategy for the village which now links with Scotland's 2020 outcomes for Biodiversity, Sustainable Scotland themes and the United Nations Global Goals. Linking to higher level outcomes in this way helps us, as ordinary citizens to undertsand that every action we take on a personal or village level contributes directly to improving the world on a global scale. In other words, acting locally, thinking globally and what we do today influences how the next generation will live. 

In the future, we hope that sustainable new bio-plastics will replace the damaging plastics which are currently in use. However, we are acting today to do what we can to reduce single use plastic in the village and we will use this page to inform you of our progress month by month.

 

East Haven Sustainability Strategy

Sea No Waste

It is no surprise that East Haven was the first customer of 'Sea no Waste' in Arbroath this morning.  We have waited so long for this shop to open which sells all things plastic free. No longer do we have to search for these items online as Sea No Waste have a wide selection of plastic free items, dried foods and fruit and veg. I was really surprised to see that they are also selling beautiful handcrafted soap made in Arbroath itself. Everything is of a really high quality and often made in the UK so we highly recommend a visit to Sea No Waste.  

  • We have stopped providing single use cups at our events.

  • Any cups we provide are reusable if possible and if not they are recyclable/compostable e.g on the cycle path at Mary’s Meals corner.

  • Angus Council have installed a fresh water drinking tap at the heritage point to enable people to fill their own reusable cups and bottles whilst on the go.

The Bottle Brush!

Sometimes it's small changes which make the difference and this month we've found an alternative to the plastic bottle brush. 'Peace in the Wild' sell this one which is plastic free, non scratch and anti-bacterial. It's made using sustainably sourced coconut husks, recycled rubber tree and metal wire. As consumers, we need to stop buying cheap plastic products and pay a bit more for sustainable ones - zero waste

 

August 2018

This month we have been looking at the problem of plastic dog poo bags. It's not just about persuading people to pick up but to think about what they use and how they dispose of it. So many people use non-degradable plastic bags and leave them in the countryside which compounds the problem and causes even greater risks to human and animal health. We want to persuade everybody to use biodegradable bags which can be purchased in most stores. They won't biodegrade for up to 3 years so it important that they go in the bin so they don't harm wildlife. 

Bag it - Use biodegradable bags - Bin it!

  • July 2018 Take your own reusable container to Morrisons

  • No single use plastic packaging

  • Buy fresh meat or fish

June 2018

Catchment Tay Ltd have kindly donated biodegradeable refuse sacks for our beach cleans. We lift huge volumes of plastic waste from our beach and it seems wrong to deposit it all in black bin liners which we know will never biodegrade. We are thrilled to receive a supply of these bags from Cathement Tay Ltd who are great supporters of the environmental work we carry out in East Haven.

May 2018 - Biodegradable Refuse Sacks

March has seen residents making their own cleaning products for the 'Wee Gallery'. Normally, we use lots of single use plastic bottles containing eco cleaner but having done some research have decided to start making our own. Apart from the fact that we can reduce the amount of plastic we use it is also good to use less chemicals. Our public toilets are reliant on the village septic tank so it is important we do what we can to protect the septic tank from toxic chemicals to enable it to function naturally. You never know, maybe we will start selling it -  Safe Haven cleaning products!

April 2018 - Making our own cleaning products!

We will stop using disposable plastic cutlery and plates in the Bothy. We will not use any polystyrene packaging or straws. We have asked for donations of metal cutlery which we will take home from the Bothy and wash. It is a little extra effort but reduces the amount of plastic going to landfill. 

 

March 2018 - Cutlery

As the Co-op is the first retailer to start making a fully biodegradable paper tea bag in it’s 99 tea range East Haven Together will only purchase this brand for village activities.

We will encourage people to switch brands and avoid brands with no intention to reduce the plastic in it's tea bags. 

 

February 2018 - Tea Bags

February saw residents planning and purchasing stocks for the public toilets which we have been managing  since 2015. We have prided ourselves on the high standards of cleanliness we maintain but we are not very proud of our track record on the use of single use plastic in the facility. After some debate about plastic swing bin liners we have concluded that there is a justifiable need to continue using some sort of liner in our waste bins. However, it's not until you start to look that you realise how hard it is to purchase biodegradeable bags. Certainly our local supermarkers don't sell anything other than small compostible food bags. We therefore obtained some samples from online suppliers and eventually settled on this one which is fully biodegradeable. 

February 2018 - Biodegradable Bin Bags

February saw residents planning and purchasing stocks for the public toilets which we have been managing  since 2015. We have prided ourselves on the high standards of cleanliness we maintain but we are not very proud of our track record on the use of single use plastic in the facility. After some debate about plastic swing bin liners we have concluded that there is a justifiable need to continue using some sort of liner in our waste bins. However, it's not until you start to look that you realise how hard it is to purchase biodegradeable bags. Certainly our local supermarkers don't sell anything other than small compostible food bags. We therefore obtained some samples from online suppliers and eventually settled on this one which is fully biodegradeable. 

  • Did you know?

    The Green Dot does not necessarily mean that the packaging is recyclable, will be recycled or has been recycled. It is a symbol used on packaging in some European countries and signifies that the producer has made a financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging in Europe.

  • Did you know?

    The majority of black plastic packaging is not able to be sorted by the optical sorting systems widely used in plastics recycling. As a result, black plastic packaging commonly ends up in landfill. Let's reduce what we buy and tell our local retailers that we don't want them to use it.