Towards Plastic Free Medway

Towards Plastic Free Medway: the Mouth of the Medway River looking from Grain to Sheerness
The mouth of the Medway, looking from Grain to Sheerness – By Clem Rutter, Rochester Kent – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Growing Concern Over Plastic In River

Towards Plastic Free Medway (TPFM) was set up about two years ago by a group of Medway citizens who are becoming increasingly concerned about the ever-growing use of single-use plastic and its effect on the environment. They are currently working towards achieving the nationally recognised “Plastic Free Community” accreditation for Medway, awarded by Surfers against Sewage (SAS).

Despite the title, TPFM is realistic and accepts that we cannot live without plastic .They recognise too that we shall need to develop a package of measures to address the plastic issue and its problems effectively. However they insist that using less, right now, should be a priority. But they need the cooperation of Medway residents.  

Small Changes Mean a Lot

In order to achieve this SAS award they need to prove that businesses and communities in Medway are rising to the challenge of making a difference in their use of single-use plastic. They can do this by committing to at least three changes in its usage.

These may only be small changes such as swapping plastic cups, cutlery, plates, bags etc. for more environmentally friendly alternatives. Or they may be big changes like finding suppliers who are already on-board with friendly alternative materials or methods.

“The aim is to change the mindset of everyone, to encourage them to think before using single-use plastic and to take the trouble to consider an alternative,” said Wanda Wright, a member of TPFM. 

“It has become all too easy to make use of the available plastic items, but this is not a viable option for the future. We need to start considering, when a convenient plastic option is offered, whether it is absolutely necessary or whether, with a little effort, an alternative can be found.” 

Surfers Against Sewage

Surfers Against Sewage started as a group of surfers in the West Country who were disgusted at the amount of plastic waste found in our waters. They offered an award to communities locally who could substantially reduce the amount of single-use plastic they used.

The word spread and now over 802 communities around Britain have signed up to the initiative so far. Furthermore, approximately 114 have achieved plastic free accreditation.

We’re In This Together

The Medway Towns, as a very large Unitary Authority, have very high targets set for them. However, TPFM are determined to achieve this award and thus make a big difference locally.

They are looking for businesses and community groups (schools, colleges, universities, children’s and youth groups, social groups and clubs, churches, environmental groups, event venues etc) to come forward and offer their support towards making Medway a community to be proud of. Contact: TPF Medway.