Environment Plymouth (EP) are a strategic community network who have only been going for a year but have achieved a great deal in that time. EP coordinate a network of 80 local groups and 300 individual members in Plymouth representing ‘green and sustainability’ issues.
Over the past 12 months EP has been led by a Steering Group of five dedicated and tenacious volunteers who, working with the network’s co-ordinator, organise monthly meetings on various topics including air quality, Fairtrade, plastics and trees and green spaces.
Thanks to their work Plymouth’s Waterfront achieved Surfers Against Sewage ‘Plastic Free Community Status’ in June 2018 – the first city in the UK to achieve this. The project was inspired by a network meeting held by Environment Plymouth in December 2017 on marine plastic; which happened to be day after the last in the series of Blue Planet II. By January, they had secured funding from South West Water to take a plastic free coastline initiative forward and they had contacted Surfers against Sewage to register to use their Plastic Free framework, a challenge that required extensive work in the local community.
EP have worked tirelessly, contacting businesses, organisations and individuals on a campaign that has since recruited nearly 80 Business Pioneers and over 60 Community Ambassadors. Members of both groups have all committed to removing three plastic items of single use plastic from everyday use and identify an action to reduce plastic use in the future, leading to Plymouth’s achievement of securing ‘Plastic Free Status’ for the Waterfront in just 5 months.
Video and information: www.plymouth.gov.uk/environmentandpollution/plastics