Campaigner urges Stratford to become a plastic-free community
IT’S time to kick the plastic addiction and make Stratford a plastic-free community.
That’s the mission of Samantha Scott who is committed to helping the town get rid of the single-use plastics which are polluting the world. She wants Stratford to play its part in helping to reduce the enormous risk to the planet that lies ahead. The process is ongoing and will involve community action, education and a change of attitude towards the environment and climate change, Samantha told the Herald.
“When I moved to Stratford, I fell in love with the abundance of waterways and countryside the town offers,” she said. “Equally, I was really impressed by the number of environmental groups who are keen to tackle local and national issues, from littering to climate change.
“Despite this, I still felt a frustration that not enough was being done, even in an environmentally-minded community such as our own. I started researching and came across ‘Plastic Free Communities’, set up by Surfers Against Sewage. I wanted to find a way to pull together all of the fantastic groups we have to collaborate on concrete goals which can really make a difference within the community as well as pushing for change nationally.
“I firmly believe we need to educate people to think about where their waste is coming from, where it’s going, and the price we – and more specifically, future generations – are ultimately going to pay for these ‘throwaway’ behaviours.”
To help drastically cut plastic waste in Stratford, Samantha and other individuals have formed Plastic Free Stratford.
“We’re a community group who want to tackle avoidable, throwaway plastic. It isn’t about removing all plastic from our lives, but removing the unnecessary single-use plastic that needlessly pollutes and causes damage to our environment, and trying to change the system that produces it.
“Plastic Free Stratford is part of a national network of communities all doing the same, backed up by the national campaigns and actions of Surfers Against Sewage.”
She added: “Our ultimate goal is to create a movement of people, businesses and organisations in Stratford who want to kick the addiction to using avoidable single-use plastic.”
The group is looking for community allies who want to work with l groups, schools and the scouts.
“Educating children in schools about single-use plastic would be a great initiative and help change perceptions and make Stratford a plastic-free community. A litter pick is a good way to start, and we’ve got many more ideas any community can do it,” said Samantha, who stood as a Labour candidate in the May county council elections but chose not to minimise her environmental impact by not sending out leaflets.
She added: “All the plastic ever made still exists in one form or another. It doesn’t go away.
“This needs tackling. Already plastic is found in the guts of 90 per cent of the world’s sea birds and by 2050 the mass of plastic in the world’s oceans will exceed the mass of fish that live there.”
For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/plasticfreestratforduponavon.