How Can We Reduce Single Use Plastic in Ledbury?

Ledbury may not be on the coast, but it does have fantastic countryside which suffers from plastic waste in our parks, on the hills and country lanes.

We live in a disposable society, but that doesn’t mean that we should continue to use single use plastics that take several hundred to thousands of years to decompose Vs biodegradable bags or corn-starch take away containers that can take between 3 and 6 months decompose.

Food takes up one of the greatest uses of single use plastics, from water and coffee containers to your favourite take away.

Plastic pollution has sadly become synonymous with all of our favourite coastal and non-coastal outdoor activities – from surfing to walking, beach holidays to wildlife watching – it is simply an expected part of our experience. But one that we should not, and do not, accept.

Quote by Surfers Against Sewage

The move away from single use plastics is rising up the national and local agenda, with more people asking how they can make a difference.

People say even if I change what impact will I make? The saying goes “every little helps”, which it does, but more sustained activity by many, consumers and retailers alike has a greater impact.

How do we try to make our beautiful part of the country become a plastic-free zone, at the same time reducing the levels of plastics we put into our oceans?

In Ledbury there are already some retailers that are using bio degradable packaging, including bags, napkins, boxes and hot drink containers. One of those is Caroline Handley, of Handley Organics who is a strong advocate of all things green.

She says, “as an organic grower and retailer we have to comply with the Soil Association’s standards for all of our packaging, from our paper bags to the bio degradable carrier bags, but it does mean we are confident that we are doing our bit to put less waste into the ocean. At Handley’s we are always looking at how we can use bio degradable products, as well as selling products that do not have a long term detrimental impact on the environment, such as dish cloths that can be used over 1700 times”.

Caroline acknowledges that the cost of using recyclable/bio degradable packaging comes at a price but says, “buying in bulk does help save costs. If Ledbury could set up a ‘hub’ where a range of bio-degradable packaging or food related products could be stored, local food retailers could draw down from this large bulk bought store, reducing the cost of these products for all of us. This could apply to retailers who are non-food providers i.e. Carrier Bags, Paper Bags”.

Establishing such a hub could make a significant step forward to making Ledbury a plastic free town.

Is there any interest from retailers and consumers to join in?

There are many other ways to reduce the use of single use plastics – what would you want to see done?

Tell us what you think.

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