Public Meeting February 22nd 2018

Robert Crick and Jeremy Woodward kindly arranged and coordinated the public meeting held at the Leigh Brown Hall (Unitarian Church) at 7pm on Feb 22nd. It was very well attended and encouraged lively debate about which directions we should go in. Everybody got to speak and say what they thought, and we then consolidated all the ideas into the following ‘Effective Actions’ proposed by the meeting

  • Pressurise outlets and offer them alternatives (e.g. acrylic glasses in Folk Week)
  • Get the Councils and the MP to support (NB Chair of STC very supportive)
  • Recycling and Rubbish Bins have been reduced (Andrew Hancock of Street Scene is trialling removal of bins to establish whether they may be encouraging fly-tipping). Find a better way to collect rubbish.
  • Saturday morning joint action at the supermarket – Sidmouth Strippers at one supermarket stripping all the unnecessary plastic waste off products purchased to reveal the size of the problem
  • EDDC Zero-waste award from the past could be revived to encourage: Less landfill & less recycling
  • Offer reduced price for carrying your own tankard/glass
  • Councillor Cole : drinking fountains next year in Sidmouth
  • SAS Plastic Free Coastlines toolkit. Keep Britain Tidy see this as a limited target. Sidmouth Plastic Warriors will lead with 220 in facebook and many more signing up. Whilst we realise this is aiming low it is a good place to start, get the accreditation to make it official, then build on it to encourage a fully single-use-plastic-free town across all businesses (including bigger supermarkets)
  • SIB and others to liaise on a calendar of clean ups and publish their “research” findings
  • Popup Zero waste stall or shop; a fix and repair shop
  • Public display of rubbish collected (for example at Sidmouth Museum)
  • Social media – #plasticpollution, shaming big supermarkets
  • Youth clubs, schools, tourist office, St Johns, SIS
  • Rewards not sanctions
  • Work in alliance with workers and small businesses to put pressure on major suppliers
  • Information on alternative products – cellulose, bamboo, cornstarch
  • Fine or reward businesses for more or less waste – start voluntary with publicity to raise public awareness and engagement
  • Business information packs to help identify alternatives
  • Produce bags and a tote bag for the town
  • Sea Fest  and Sidmouth Folk Week etc. food outlets must support plastic free
  • STC Annual Council: April 9th – proposals welcome
  • Art display and installation from rubbish collected (Coco)
  • Chamber of Commerce to be brought on board at breakfast
  • SVA
  • Network with other towns eg Ottery’s group
  • Cafe Scientifique
  • Science Festival
  • Climate Change week
  • FOTB
  • Arboretum
  • Investigate sale of high-energy drinks in disposable packaging being pushed for youngsters on the way to or from school

So for now, for us, the action is to push forwards with the SAS Plastic Free Coastline accreditation and to raise a motion for Sidmouth Town Council (as well as getting ourselves sorted out with a bank account and applying for funding – then we could take on the Tote bags, and some sort of accreditation non-plastic stickers for businesses who are fully on board). Lots to do!

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