Reducing waste: An update

Following the screening of Trashed in Hythe, a number of us regrouped to consider some of the issues raised by the film. This ‘waste sub-group’ came up with a number of ideas for taking action to reduce waste in our community and we’ve made a start on most of them, so this is an update on progress to date.

If you would like to be involved in any of the initiatives or if you have other ideas, or know of other good information resources that we should highlight, please don’t hesitate to make contact.

Our aim is to encourage better awareness of the ‘three Rs’: Reduce, reuse, recycle

Since the initial kick-off we have:

  • Met with Shepway District Council’s waste officer to find out the current processes, collections and challenges within the district;
  • Set about planning a waste stall to provide useful advice at our apple press day in Hythe High Street on Saturday September 24th and at any other relevant events, including a likely Folkestone apple press day as well;
  • Visited a number of Kent County Council’s Household Waste Management sites to look at the challenges here, particularly related to reuse, and to understand any plans for this;
  • Started to plan a survey of local businesses to understand what items they currently send to landfill; ahead of this, we have started to talk to individual businesses on a one-to-one basis and have already picked up interesting feedback;
  • Arranged a screening of Trashed Inc in Folkestone (this is on Tuesday 20th September – see www.folkestoneintransition.com for details).

Are there other things we should be doing? Let us know, become involved. We have a small, busy sub-group looking at this area and would welcome more volunteers.

European Citizens’ Initiative on plastic

This is an excellent initiative to limit the production of plastic by EU legislation, thereby seeking to head off at source waste that is particularly detrimental to the environment.

A European Citizens’ Initiative is an invitation to the European Commission to propose legislation on matters where the EU has competence to legislate. It must be backed by at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least seven of the 28 member states.

Please sign and share the link with as many people as possible. The closing date to reach the required one million signatories is 19/10/2016.

http://english.expeditionmed.eu/fr/category/take-action/sign-the-petition/

A good website for background reading and to see other campaigns related to plastic waste is here: http://english.expeditionmed.eu/fr/

Other resources

There are also a number of sites with wonderful, simple ideas that have minimum impact on the environment.

One of these is https://myzerowaste.com. The lady who runs it is organising a zero waste week, in September, when we could all take the challenge and get others to participate too. It would be an interesting hands-on experience that would give us a better understanding of what areas need improving.

There is also a Facebook page where you can ask for advice and tips, a helpful bunch of people https://www.facebook.com/groups/ZeroWasteWeekHeroes/

This site has lots of tips, including the top ten for getting started. The annual landfill waste created by Kathryn Kellogg, who runs the site, can fit into one small jam jar. http://www.goingzerowaste.com Spoiler alert: composting is probably the most important step of all.

Here is another website that conveys the message in a simple, with videos on what can and cannot be recycled, plus short informative videos and ideas. It is a government-backed initiative: http://www.recyclenow.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwipi4BRD7t6zGl6m75IgBEiQAn7CfFz8lORn6AAPXt5ZI9FtcltL9cNZL2hQGntBYiBZ4q00aAjPt8P8HAQ It could be a good source of inspiration for the planned workshops.

WRAP is a UK-based charity with a useful website. It is seeking to drive change in areas where we can make the biggest difference, comprising food and drink, textiles and electrical/electronics products. The collective impact of these accounts for: 25% of UK carbon footprint; 80% of UK water footprint; 40% of UK household waste. http://www.wrap.org.uk

Freecycle is a well-known site for people to offer items that would otherwise be binned, so too Trash Nothing, and there is are Folkestone groups on both