Monday, 2 April 2018

Sidmouth aiming for Plastic Free Coastline Accredited Town @ annual Town Assembly > Monday 9th April

Things are moving forward to make Sidmouth a 'plastic free town':
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Plastic Warriors > bidding to become a Plastic Free Coastline town with Surfers Against Sewage

Specifically a 'plastic free coastline town' - with a motion going to the annual Town Assembly next week: 

10 Plastic Free Coastline Accredited Town 
To receive a presentation from Denise Bickley of Sidmouth Plastic Warriors on how the Town Council could help to reduce the pollution of the environment with plastics and to consider becoming a Plastic Free Coastline Accredited Town.

Here's the poster for the meeting:

And from the full agenda: 

Proposal to Sidmouth Town Council to support Sidmouth becoming a flagship Single Use Plastic Free Town 

Sidmouth Plastic Warriors is a group of local people who wish to be proactive in our town, making it the forefront of the push for the world to curb it’s single-use plastic addiction. We appreciate fully the work which the Town Council has done so far and applaud wholeheartedly the plans to bring a water refill fountain to Sidmouth. We also acknowledge that plastic has its place – it is an amazing invention – however we are directing our action solely at single-use plastics. 

This request is for Sidmouth Town Council to support Sidmouth Plastic Warrior’s bid to apply for Sidmouth to become a Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Coastline Accredited Town. 

This accreditation is achieved by meeting various criteria: 
1. Getting support formally passed by the local town council. 
2. Having at least 12 local businesses changes at least 3 single-use-plastic items for non-plastic alternatives. This can be achieved easily with the engagement of the Town Council and Chamber of Commerce. 
3. Engaging with the community via social media, media, public meetings 
4. Holding community events, supported by the council. We appreciate fully that Cllr McKenzie-Edwards actively participated in the recent March 10th clean up of the Beach, Ham and Town. 
5. Holding at least an annual meeting of a steering committee – currently supported by Sidmouth Plastic Warriors, Vision Group for Sidmouth, Sidmouth in Bloom, Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce. 

We would also appreciate Sidmouth Town Council members making a pledge themselves to reduce their own single-use-plastic use, and encourage others they come into contact with, both in public and private life, to do the same. Repeating the refuse, reduce, reuse, refill, recycle ideals will encourage all to minimise their impact and to also think about how plastics have become so needlessly (on the whole) engrained in our lives. We would hope and encourage that the Council would abide by the same ideals in it’s day to day business wherever possible. 

We would also like the Town Council to encourage anyone applying for festivals, events and tenders to be encouraged to submit details of their plans for minimising their footprint on the town, including merchandising sold. 

With the support of the Council, we would be well on the way to applying for Plastic-Free-Coastline Status, which will be an asset to the tourism of the town. This can also only add in a positive way to Sidmouth In Bloom’s bid to become Champion of Champions in the RHS Britain in Bloom National Finals this year. 

Denise Bickley, 
Chair, Sidmouth Plastic Warriors 

“Plastic pollution has sadly become synonymous with any coastal activity, from surfing to swimming, beach holidays to wildlife watching – it is simply an expected part of our experience. This is why marine plastic pollution, and specifically tackling society’s throwaway, excessive or unnecessary plastic culture, is now Surfers Against Sewage’s top priority. Plastic pollution is an issue that connects the environment with all parts of society, and is something that we can take action on at every level. Indeed, it will only be through concrete, collective, positive action that we will be able to catalyse the shift that is needed to stop the flood of plastic pollution from overwhelming our world.” 

(Taken from Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Coastlines Toolkit). 

Progress so far in Sidmouth Plastic Warrior’s SAS Plastic Free Coastlines bid: 

1 EDDC motion agreed: “That this Council continues to set the highest environmental standards and acknowledges the need to minimise the reliance on single use plastics. It will ensure that their use is confined to those instances where it is operationally necessary and no alternatives are available. All future procurement decisions must take into account environmental considerations.” 

2 Businesses so far signed up: The Dairy Shop, The Filling Station, Devon Embroidery, Cheriton Guest House, Sidmouth Sailing Club, Sidmouth Primary School, Sidmouth Cricket Club, Sidmouth Rugby Club 

3 Community Engagement: Sidmouth Plastic Warriors was set up for this purpose (as well as organising beach cleans etc) has currently 256 members, and the petition on change.org asking for support to ‘Make Sidmouth a single-use-plastic-free town’ has 5296 signatures at present (13th March 2018) 

4 Community Events: Sidmouth Plastic Warriors are holding monthly litter cleans - Beach January 20th, Woolbrook area February 17th, Beach and Town March 10th, public meeting held for all factions of community on February 22nd. There are also events planned for April 14th 10am meeting at the Sailing Club, then May 12th 10.30am for Sid Fest, litter to be used for art projects in the afternoon to further highlight the problem. 

5 Holding at least an annual meeting of a steering committee – we have held one such meeting on February 22nd, with others to be scheduled. 

More information regarding the SAS Plastic Free Coastlines accreditation and campaign can be found at https://www.sas.org.uk/plasticfreecoastlines/ 

More information about Sidmouth Plastic Warriors and regularly updated information regarding the bid can be found at http://sidmouthplasticwarriors.org 

We would welcome any Councillors to ‘like’ us on Facebook (Sidmouth Plastic Warriors) where we have community engagement daily as well as the events page.


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