Southport Plastic Free Community Launch Earth Day 2024

Owners of the Sunnyside Guest House were asked to set up a plastic Free Community for Southport by Surfers Against Sewage when they were issued with their Plastic Free Community Business Champion Award. Today is Earth Day, making it the perfect time to launch the plastic-free community. This aligns perfectly with this year’s theme of “Planet vs Plastics.” The aim of this community is to unite individuals in a collective effort to address avoidable single-use plastic. The goal is not to eliminate all plastic from people’s lives, but rather to break free from dependence on disposable plastic and reform the production system behind it.

According to the Centre for International Environmental Law, a staggering 99% of plastic is derived from fossil fuels, and carbon emissions from plastic are projected to triple by 2050. In the UK, supermarkets alone distribute a shocking 112,000 pieces of plastic packaging every minute, highlighting the need for change.

Individuals, businesses and schools are being asked to get involved in the battle against single-use plastic.

Businesses – Become a Businesses Champion

To achieve the Plastic Free Champion Award, a business must eliminate a minimum of three single-use plastic items from its operations, such as plastic bags, coffee cups, and plastic drink bottles. Upon meeting this criteria, businesses receive a free of charge Plastic Free Champion plaque and certificate to showcase their efforts and communicate their commitment to customers and the wider community. Businesses don’t have to be completely free of plastic. Instead, its goal is to address the crisis of single-use plastics, specifically focusing on reducing avoidable plastics that are prevalent in many areas.

Photograph curtesy of Sunnyside Guest House Bath Street

Businesses that are already operating without single-use plastics can apply retrospectively by informing the awarding body of the steps they have taken to reduce single-use plastic usage in their operations. This approach may serve to motivate and guide other businesses toward similar sustainable practices.

The Plastic Free Champion Award is open to businesses across various sectors, including retail, hospitality, hair and beauty, holiday accommodation, leisure, and office-based businesses.

For information about the free business champion award please follow the link below; Businesses – Plastic Free Communities

Individuals- Take Action

Individuals can make impactful changes in their homes, workplaces, and lifestyles by choosing to refill and reuse, which helps reduce pollution and save money. Following the Southport Plastic Free Community Facebook page allows individuals to learn about the exceptional business champions that make plastic-free living easier and more accessible. For example, OmNom Zero Waste on Westley Street, the first business champion, sets a great example.


Photographs curtesy of OmNom Zero Waste on Westley Street

They provide over 100 products in their refill range. This includes cupboard essentials such as pasta, rice, lentils, herbs and spices, liquid body care products such as shampoos, conditioners, body wash and hand wash, and household cleaning products such as laundry liquid, washing up and white vinegar. Bring in your own clean, dry and empty container to reduce packaging waste and buy just what you need to reduce food waste.

Local residents can also participate in a beach clean-up event. Southport Coastal Clean Ups and Green Sefton each organize monthly beach clean-ups. Updates on Southport Plastic Free Community can be found on their Facebook page while a list of dates for this year’s events is available from Green Sefton below.

Southport Beach and the surrounding areas are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to their unique ecosystems and the variety of wildlife they support. The beach clean ups help preserve endangered wildlife such as the Sand Lizards. Paul Hudson a conservationist who works along our coastline has found Sand Lizards and other wildlife both dead and alive in bottles and cans whilst carrying out his work. Below is a photo taken on one of his surveys.

Photo curtesy of Paul Hudson Southport Sand Lizard sat on what would of been his coffin

Please sign up on the Plastic Free Communities website for your individual action plan by following this link. Individuals – Plastic Free Communities

Schools and Nurseries- Power to the Pupils

Plastic Free Schools is have created a programme designed to hit key curriculum and other targets whilst linking to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This programme will support you to empower your pupils to make positive and lasting changes for the environment and your school.

To sign up please click here; Pupil Power – Plastic Free Schools – Surfers Against Sewage

Upon signing up, you’ll receive a welcome pack in the mail along with access to a online space filled with valuable resources to help guide you through the program. Please connect with the community upon registration by emailing us at . They would love to share your story on their Facebook page.

Martin Thornton Director of Communications at carbon happy world and member of the Southport Plastic Free Community steering group said.

“I’m really pleased see the Plastic Free Community initiative taking off in Southport! Reducing single-use plastic pollution is a critical step towards protecting Sefton’s beautiful beaches, green spaces and local wildlife.

And what better day to celebrate this than ‘Earth Day’ 2024, which is appropriately themed Planet vs Plastics. Through our work in Dubai with the Desert Vipers and their partnership with Toby Gregory at The Plastic Pledge, we have seen first hand the ripple effect individuals and companies can have to encourage the broader community and local industry leaders to get involved.

To have this on my doorstep, I had to get involved, as we all have a part to play in creating a cleaner, healthier environment for ourselves and future generations. It’s fantastic to see both residents and businesses coming together to make a real difference to our surroundings.

Lets make a difference together to a plastic-free Southport.”

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