Town officially now a plastic free community

Sleaford has joined a network of communities across the UK who are leading the way to tackle throw away plastic at source.
The Plastic Free Sleaford team littering picking in town. EMN-220217-154526001The Plastic Free Sleaford team littering picking in town. EMN-220217-154526001
The Plastic Free Sleaford team littering picking in town. EMN-220217-154526001

The town has been awarded Plastic Free Community status by marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in recognition of the work it has done to start reducing the impact of single-use plastic on the environment.

Ruskington resident Roberta Bray started the campaign in 2019 after seeing War on Plastic on TV and realising something had to be done to create change.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While out running she became increasingly aware of the amount of plastic litter around our roads and decided it was time to act and started a plastic free community on Facebook, signing up to the SAS campaign soon after.

Registering with the SAS Plastic Free Communities movement, Roberta pulled together key organisations and businesses in the town to put in place a five-point plan. The objectives include: setting up a community led steering group, instigating the SAS Plastic Free Schools education programme, getting local council commitment and working with local businesses, organisations and community groups to spread the word and minimise the amount of disposable plastics they use.

“Taking on this campaign has enabled me to get to know local business owners and connect with hundreds of like-minded people,” said Roberta. “The community has inspired me. Knowing how many people want to make changes to reduce the plastic in their lives has given me the motivation to keep going.”

These efforts have earned her and her organisation a Sleaford Town Award in the last year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Many local businesses signed up having already made conscious decisions to remove single use items such as plastic bottles, packaging, sellotape and plastic cutlery. Others used the opportunity to evaluate what they used and found ways of making further changes to make their businesses even more sustainable.

Roberta said: “I am so grateful to every business who took the time to chat with me and for the changes they made in order to support the campaign.

Plastic Free Sleaford has been proud to be involved in local and national litter picks and most recently the Love Our Planet event at the Hub in September. We have also featured BBC Radio Lincolnshire talking about the environment and as a clue recently on Pirate Radio. “Working alongside other environmental groups such as Sleaford Climate Action Network, we have also been part of climate action activities.

“We are looking forward to supporting NKDC and the Hub in the upcoming RiverLight festival in March. We are delighted to be represented by a town councillor and have had the council’s full support from early on in the campaign. We look forward to working together on future projects to support the town’s sustainability efforts.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Roberta said: “It has been over two years of hard work, fit around a full time job, but I am so proud and excited to finally be able to say that this part of the journey is complete and that Sleaford can now be given it’s plastic free status. Although the award doesn’t mean the town is completely plastic free, it does mean that we as a community are conscious of how we use plastics and that we want to continue to reduce our impact. The journey continues and I hope to keep on inspiring people to make small changes in their every day life.”

The Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Community network is a marine conservation charity, based in St Agnes in Cornwall, which aims to free the places where we live from single-use. The aim is to empower communities to kick start local grassroots action, which can then be built upon for cleaner beaches, streets, parks and river banks.

Related topics: