Bishop’s Castle ‘Fight the Plastic’

A big thanks is due to the ‘Mid-Counties Co-op’ who have just awarded us £2,000 to help us set-up a ‘pop-up’ stall at the Farmers’ Market to sell plastic-free alternative products, and to carry-out beach and rivers cleans, plus produce information packs for businesses and schools.
Midcounties Logo jpeg

Help us to achieve Plastic Free Community Status in 2019!

 You may be wondering what has happened to Bishops Castle’s Fight the Plastic over the last few months. Well, we’ve been recovering from our momentous 2018 campaign and gathering energy for our forthcoming 2019 programme.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dave Luckhurst and his team of helpers, 2018 saw a multi-layered attack on the problem of wasteful and unsustainable Single Use Plastics (SUPs). These are the plastic films, ‘crinkly’ wraps, poly bags, straws, polystyrene trays, toothpaste tubes and crisp packets, etc. that contain a range of consumer items and won’t be re-cycled at the moment, whichever box you put them in for recycling.

There were plenty of ways many of you got involved. At the important, political end of the spectrum, we lobbied Philip Dunne MP to support a government initiative requiring manufacturers to fund 100% of the recycling costs of SUPs. At present, all non-recyclable SUPs have to be incinerated, adding 000s of tonnes to our C02 emissions. By contrast, our Community College students did a beach clean at Aberystwyth and town residents joined in a Mass Litter Pick around Bishop’s Castle. This has since morphed into a Monthly Litter Sweep, run by Lissi Swales, every 3rd Friday of the month, meeting in the Auction Yard at 10am. So far, many dozens of sacks of litter have been collected. Uncaptured, this plastic eventually ends up in our rivers and oceans. Come and join us and bring a friend. It’s important!
Success was also gained on single-use water bottles, once considered a necessary staple of the ‘healthy’ lifestyle. They became UNNECESSARY when 16 local traders agreed to a “free Refill service” – see the ‘Refill’ app – particularly useful to our many visitors to the town. Two “Days of Action” in October focused further attention on the dilemma of having to deal with SUPs in our daily lives, while displaying equivalent products made from alternative, recyclable and fully compostable materials. Hundreds of visitors to the stands were pleased to register their concerns and sign petitions.
The Town Council is proposing a motion to support our request to a mandatory reduction of SUPs at all Festivals and Events in the town and within TC premises. We established a Facebook profile and a website. There were radio interviews and an Information Board installed outside the Co-op which continues to display forthcoming events and progress. See the board for a full story of our 2018 achievements.
Our attempt to Crowdfund £11K for a part time professional to lead us into our 2019 programme fell short when only £606 was raised, but our enthusiasm is undimmed!  Our pockets are currently shallow, but we would still propose a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped in any way. Our reserves are held by the local charity Lightfoot Enterprises, but without further funding, our campaign cannot achieve this year’s targets. If you can consider donating, please contact Dave Luckhurst, or see the website, for the details.  We have a Funding sub-group working on grant applications.
In 2019 we plan to continue our campaign and a number of ideas have been mooted, including a monthly pop-up shop and taking the campaign into local schools. However, this is entirely dependent on finding more, active volunteers!
Fight The Plastic’s main focus is to achieve Plastic Free Community Status. This doesn’t mean removing all plastics but “kicking our addiction to avoidable single use plastic and the systems that produce it”. A ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ leaflet is included with this newsletter. It gives useful information and ideas to help you avoid SUPs, as an individual. We have registered the town for their Plastic Free Community award, and are the FIRST community in Shropshire to do so! Given last years’ progress, and our ambitious programme ahead, we should make Plastic Free Community Status in time for the Michaelmas Fair.
Please support us in any practical and moral way you can. Anyone who feels they could spare some time to join Fight the Plastic, please contact Dave Luckhurst on 01588 680250 or 07811 851128.
Please consider making a donation to support this very necessary project for Bishop’s Castle!
It was Margaret Mead, the anthropologist who said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.
Joint editors:: Jennie Godwin, Lesley Davis-Inglis, David Luckhurst

A big thank you from everyone at ‘Fight the Plastic                   e-mail:

In addition to funds raised through our Crowdfunder campaign, we have also received
financial assistance from the following:-

  • South-West Shropshire Local Joint Committee
  • Lightfoot Enterprises
  • BC Community Partnership