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 activities and progress.

 

East Haven Together Sustainability Strategy

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 such as PG tips who apparently have no plans to reduce the plastic in it's tea bags. 

 

  • We will stop providing single use cups at our events.

  • Any cups we do provide will be recyclable/compostable e.g on the cycle path at Mary’s Meals corner.

  • We are are planning to install a fresh water drinking tap near the heritage point to enable people to fill their own reusable cups and bottles whilst on the go.

Cutlery

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. 

 

Biodegradable Bin Bags

This week has seen us planning and purchasing stocks for our 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 as 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.

Future Plans

Plans for March

We are going to make our own natural cleaning products for use in the ‘wee gallery’. This will reduce the number of plastic bottles we purchase and also the amount of chemicals draining into the village septic tank.

Widely encourage the use of bamboo toothbrushes,

Discourage the use of wet wipes and cotton buds