Parish Council Working to Improve Our Environment

As you will be aware our village has a track record of promoting initiatives to improve the environment, from the Going Carbon Neutral Project, through to the Community Energy Company, the planting of wildflowers and community clean ups to name but a few.

In December, the parish council voted unanimously to join the Plastic Free Communities project being run by Surfers Against Sewage and began the task of gaining their recognised accreditation for action on avoidable plastic.

This is NOT about removing all plastic from the environment. That would be impractical and frankly a near impossible thing to try and achieve in today’s society. Instead, it is about removing single use plastics where this is feasible and achievable to do. If a non-plastic alternative exists, then we would encourage people to use it rather than the single use plastic version. However, if the single use plastic version cannot be replaced because there are no feasible alternatives available, then so be it.

As a simple example, one local organisation has stopped laminating notices that are  displayed indoors. Those displayed outdoors are still laminated to protect them from the weather. This is the sort of simple, easily achieved action the initiative is looking to promote. Another example involves moving from disposable plastic cups to crockery ones that can be washed between use.

The parish council has already signed up a number of local organisations, who have pledged to do whatever they can in support of the overall aim to remove unnecessary single use plastics where possible. To date they are:

  • Ashton Hayes Primary School
  • The Community Shop
  • St John’s Church
  • The Community Energy Company
  • Ashton Hayes Sports and Recreation Association (AHSRA)

We are already aware that other groups and organisations are looking to come on board very soon.

If we have not been in touch with your group or organisation yet and you would like to support this initiative, please contact us on plasticfree@ashtonhayespc.co.uk and we will explain the process. It is really quick and easy to sign up.

Absolutely. If you are a local independent business we would love to hear from you.  There is no need for your business to have its own premises. As long as it is a recognised business, you are eligible to become a Plastics Champion and again the process is very simple.  If you would like to know more please contact us on the email address above.

We would also like to encourage you to get involved by looking at how you can reduce the amount of single use plastic you use. Please share your ideas on what you have been able to do already or what you plan to do in the future using NextDoor. We have created a group specifically for this initiative to make it easy for people to share their ideas without them getting lost in the mix of other unrelated posts. To join the group, go to: https://nextdoor.co.uk/g/4a6t6po6b/

or scan the QR code:

Your small change could just be that little bit of inspiration to someone else.

We are also keen to have residents on the steering group, which meets at least twice a year. Please contact us on plasticfree@ashtonhayespc.co.uk to get involved. The group will coordinate the progress towards the accreditation as well as develop ideas for new ways to improve the environment where we all live.

Finally, if you are involved with a local group or organisation that is not signed up to this initiative, please ask them to consider joining.

The next event will be the Community Clean Up on Saturday 13th April.  If you are new to the area, we hold these events twice a year and they are well attended by local people.  It is a chance to clean up the parish, removing the rubbish that has accumulated in hedgerows etc. and in return you will be rewarded with a free hot drink and a slice of cake at the pavilion afterwards. Do come along.  All we ask is that you let us know in advance (communitycleanup@ashtonhayespc.co.uk) so we can ensure we have enough cake!