Plastic Free Preston South West has been working tirelessly to rid the city of litter and get more businesses using eco-friendly alternatives.
The group regularly organises litter picking activities to clean up the litter hot spot areas of Preston, they also promote ways in which we can be greener and improve the image of the city.
Michael, a co-founder of Plastic Free Preston South West, explains how the group belives that the amount littering that is happening in the city is putting off newcomers:
“There are places in Preston that are litter hot spots and we think it puts would-be investors off if the city doesn’t appear to care about its appearance. We need to think out of the box a little more, to ensure flower beds are maintained, weeds removed and litter collected.
“Not only do we need to educate people in the correct disposal of litter and have effective enforcement but we need to take the message into schools and colleges.”
The group is very active and has many volunteers offering their time to support the cause:
“We formed this group in October 2018 and we have been very active and held litter picking activities weekly throughout the summer. The most we have had at any one time is 11 volunteers but we have a pool of about 25 persons who have been involved overall.
“Unfortunately, during the pandemic, we have had to limit attendance to ensure social distancing. We are continuing to recruit new active members, as there is genuine concern out there among the community about how litter and particularly plastic litter, impacts upon our surroundings.”
Michael gave an important message on why it is so important that we reduce our plastic wastage:
“Not only is plastic litter an eyesore and harmful to wildlife when they become entangled but plastic is also ingested by fish and other animals species, resulting in plastic now being in the food chain with implications for the health of the general public.
“Most adults in the UK now have measurable amounts of plastic in their blood and urine. In theory, every piece of plastic from when it was first invented in 1907, is still around, so we need to drastically reduce our reliance on non-biodegradable plastics.”
The group is striving for change to happen at a local level with more businesses making postive changes and for it to continue happening at a national level:
“We need to lobby businesses to change to more eco-friendly alternatives where possible and recycle much more plastic than we are presently managing to do. The government has made a start by banning certain products such as plastic straws and cotton buds and drink stirrers.”
For any more information about the work Plastic Free Preston South West does or how you can get involved, check out their Facebook page here.