5th June 2004, the day West Swindon marched on the civic offices… and won!

The following article was kindly written for us by Simon Smith, former co-ordinator of SCAN. 20th September 2019 and like many from SCAN I was marching around Swindon centre in support of the global earth strike. I got talking to others about another big environmental demonstration in the town centre. The day West Swindon marched on the Civic Offices, few remembered it so I was asked to take a wander down memory lane. It was all about the area we know as Shaw Forest Park. An area of former landfill creating an important ecological and access link between Peatmoor Lagoon and the River Ray Parkway. Now a mixture of trees and grassy areas, it was planted up as part of the Great Western Community Forest. Thousands of people helped through community tree planting days. Thousands of people is not an exaggeration. In one day in February 1995 alone 6,000 people[…]

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The Story of Plastic – community screening

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** Wednesday 1st July 2020, 7:30-9:30pm We are delighted to be hosting an online community screening of The Story of Plastic for the start of Plastic Free July. It is made by the excellent Story of Stuff project, whose films have raised awareness of plastic pollution and helped form a worldwide movement. ‘Plastic pollution is everywhere we look, smothering our oceans and poisoning communities around the world. Meanwhile, Big Plastic only plans to expand production. We need to chart a different course.’– The Story of Stuff project. In fact, Big Plastic aim to increase plastic production 70% by 2030 having recently invested $185 billion in new refineries! More info, including a trailer for the film, can be found here. We’ll have a discussion afterwards about the film and what we can do in Swindon to make a difference. If you’d like to[…]

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Toxic chemicals in bamboo food and drink containers

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** We are sorry to have to share this information. Many people have made the effort to switch to reusable food and drinks containers made of bamboo. This is forwarded from the CHEM Trust: ‘Bamboo cups and tableware might seem like a good alternative to plastic, but a statement from The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) highlights chemical concerns associated with this popular alternative. To make the bamboo coffee cups and tableware, bamboo fibres are often combined with melamine-formaldehyde resin (MFH). However, BfR warns that when the bamboo products are heated, the melamine and formaldehyde can migrate from the material into food. Formaldehyde is known to be hazardous, and is suspected to cause cancer and to damage DNA, while studies have suggested that melamine could damage the kidneys. Formaldehyde was released from 366 of the cups and bowls tested, and[…]

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Healthy reusable food containers

We’ve compiled this list of healthy food containers, which we hope will be of use. By healthy, we mean sustainable, natural, and non-toxic. Please contact us with additions. Stainless steel. Glass. Wood from sustainably managed forests (see this video on the importance of supporting FSC). Mycotecture (mushrooms). Natural fabrics such as organic cotton and soy wax wraps. Rice husk.

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Plastic Free Swindon – Aims

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** Plastic Free Swindon is a campaign to help eliminate plastic pollution. It is designed to help facilitate change by engaging with the people, organisations, institutions and representatives of Swindon. We seek to understand barriers to change in order to implement solutions. When we set up the campaign, we drew up a detailed plan and have been working on different aspects of that. Plastic Free Swindon is one of many plastic-free town and city campaigns across the UK and is part of the global Break Free From Plastic movement. By working together, our actions in Swindon become part of global efforts to end plastic pollution. In this way, it can be seen that all of our actions matter and count towards a bigger whole. We urgently need legislation to stem the tide of plastic production. This is a major aim of our[…]

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Plastic Free Swindon – simple guide

***Plastic Free Swindon can now be found at https://plasticfreeswindon.org*** *Last updated 2nd February 2020. We have put together this simple guide to reducing plastic. Working together as part of the global Break Free From Plastic movement, we can eliminate plastic pollution. This is a work in progress; as the campaign expands so, will it. Supporting zero waste, local, independent and organic has many benefits for the health of people, animals and the environment. Fortunately for Swindon, we have a couple of brilliant community shops that support these important aspects: Nude Foods is the new zero waste co-operative, launched on April 17th 2019. *Update – Sadly Nude Foods stopped trading in January 2020. An announcement is to follow shortly. Founded in 1976, Swindon Pulse Wholefoods is a co-operative that sells a variety of local, organic produce, increasingly providing options for zero waste. Refill Swindon launched in September 2018. It is part[…]

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Plastic pollution commitment letters – Justin Tomlinson

Thanks Ben. I am proud that as a Councillor I introduced the kerbside recycling scheme. I have opened the two Advanced Recycling Technology facilities in Swindon (it is great, that we as as town are at the heart of a potential commercial breakthrough) and I have supported the additional money being invested into research to seek alternatives. I have also fully support pressure on retailers to reduce unnecessary packaging, including with plastics. Thank you for the work you are doing in this important area. Happy to meet you post election to discuss ongoing works / campaigns, should I be re-elected. Cheers, Justin. For clarification: Neither of the questions we asked have been answered, hence we signified that an answer was ‘not stated’. We are seeking clarification on this. This letter is in response to a letter we sent to all of Swindon’s parliamentary candidates for the 2019 general election. See[…]

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Plastic pollution commitment letters – Robert Buckland

Dear Ben, Thank you for your email. On the question of legislation, we will introduce our flagship Environment Bill. Leaving the EU is a defining opportunity for the UK to set its own course and take ambitious action to protect our natural environment for future generations. We are taking world leading action to take on the scourge of plastics. We have already banned plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds from April 2020 and the Environment Bill encourages producers to cut waste and protect our water resources. This is on top of the action we have taken to ban microbeads, which can be so harmful in our waterways . Thanks to our efforts, plastic bag sales are down 90% since 2015 and the fee we introduced is being used for environmental causes. Our manifesto announced that we will introduce a new levy to increase the proportion of recyclable plastics in[…]

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Plastic pollution commitment letters – Kate Linnegar

I absolutely support the plastic pollution bill. A statement from our Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman, “Labour is calling for a truly comprehensive waste and recycling strategy that tackles our lack of domestic infrastructure to deal with what we throw away as well as further action to reduce waste at source and improve levels of recycling”. And from our shadow minister for waste and recycling, “Labour is calling for a root-and-branch comprehensive approach to dealing with our waste which reduces the amount created in the first place, recycles the maximum of waste that is produced and protects our environment from pollution”. Both myself and the Labour Party support a permanent ban on fracking. Kind regards, Kate Linnegar. Clarification: Plastic pollution: Labour Party support for the Plastic Pollution Bill is not clear. Further detail is required for a more precise answer. This answer is derived from both Kate Linnegar and Sarah[…]

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