The Plastic Free Nantwich campaign group was launched in April 2019 with a meeting at the Leopard pub, and due to the popularity of the campaign, at a second follow up event at the Crown Hotel Ball Room a few weeks later.
The group was inspired by, and keyed into, the national Plastic Free towns campaign by the group Surfers Against Sewage.
The Nantwich campaign gained widespread public support fast and was soon active with in a series of campaigns in the town to drive action on reducing the use of single use plastics These included:
- Town Centre stalls promoting the issue and educating the community
- Litter picks and plastic free picnics
- School talks and green action support
- Regular interviews in the local media
- Great Unwrap actions in supermarkets – encouraging customers to leave unnecessary plastic wrapping in the supermarket.
- Working with the Nantwich Jazz Festival to find ways to reduce single use plastic.
- Providing shops, cafes and food outlets with alternative plastic free options.
- Recruiting local shops to join the campaign by pledging to cut their waste and use recyclable and compostable packaging materials.
- Encouraging the Town Council to make their outlets single use plastic free.
- Campaigning to encourage use of reusable coffee cups, water bottles and for shops and cafes to sign up as water refill stations.
The actions have resulted in:
- Ramping up public commitment to reducing plastic use
- Supermarkets committing to reduce plastics locally and nationally
- Nantwich Town Council pledging to go single use plastic free at the Civic Hall and other outlets
- Hundreds of residents taking part in plastic free events and taking personal action
- Joint litter picks with The Nantwich Litter Group remove plastic litter from around the town and raises awareness
- Over 20 local shops signed up and start reducing plastic use.
- Town cafes commit to become water refill stations.
- Plastic free international art exhibition in St Mary’s Church in partnership with Keele University
- Nantwich Town Council commits to going plastic free and introduces plastic free catering products at the Civic Hall.
- Nantwich was awarded Plastic Free Town Status by Surfers Against Sewage at the end of 2019.
Beyond Plastic – Sustainable Nantwich
The campaign has brought volunteers and people together to consider environmental issues in the town and members of the group wanted to address a host of other concerns with the aim of creating a more sustainable and environmentally focused town.
With this in mind the voluntary group have reshaped itself to become Sustainable Nantwich – with Plastic Free Nantwich as just one of a number of potential campaigns.
Sustainable Nantwich is also working on and involved in:
- The Growing Health Community Garden project
- Campaigning for a Climate Emergency – now a member of the Cheshire East Climate Action Group.
- Working for a carbon action plan for the town
- Working with other partners (Nantwich Forum, Cheshire East Council, Nantwich in Bloom) on a co-ordinating green space strategy and actions
- Organising environmental information and networking events
- Proposals for community renewable energy
Anyone who wants to get involved can go to the Sustainable Nantwich page on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Jeremy Herbert on 07729 979641