Public meeting to make Sidmouth plastic free

Members of the newly formed Sidmouth Plastic Warriors group met for their first beach clean

Members of the newly formed Sidmouth Plastic Warriors group met for their first beach clean - Credit: Archant

A community group with a focus on the future is hosting a public meeting on ways to cut plastic use in the Sid Valley.

The announcement follows in the wake of several key campaigns, including the beach cleans by Sidmouth in Bloom’s Sidcombers, Surfers against Sewage and the newly formed Sidmouth Plastic Warriors group.

The Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth is bringing people together in the Unitarian Church at 7pm on Thursday, February 22.

Robert Crick, who will chair the meeting, said: “Plastic waste on our beaches has doubled over the last decade. Other towns have initiated town-wide schemes to reduce plastic. Could this be an initiative for Sidmouth to adopt?”

Sidmouth Town Council is planning to install water fountains and a number of businesses are looking at ways to reduce their use of plastic, such as by offering free water refills.

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Ahead of the meeting, the Sidmouth Plastic Warriors are staging a clean-up around Woolbrook from 2pm to 3pm tomorrow (Saturday).

Organiser Denise Bickley said: “It would be great to get as many people as possible involved as the rubbish around Woolbrook ends up in the River Sid and in the drains and runs directly into the sea. Waitrose and Lidl are both involved and will be cleaning up their direct areas, which is fantastic, and we are very grateful to them.

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“We can do all the clean-ups we can but the situation will not improve without real meaningful changes to both our mindset and our shopping habits.

“This needs all members of the community to engage and think about their own impact, which we hope to encourage in a positive, non-judgemental way.

“We are also engaging with the children and young people of the town through the youth centre and schools in order to get attitudes across our community to shift, and consequences of plastic littering and over-packaging to be thought about.”

The group will meet after the meeting to discuss setting up a bank account to apply for funding for different initiatives. Denise said cafes and pub will be welcome to attend to discuss their role and how to push forward with the plastic-free Sidmouth plan without punishing small businesses.

Search for Sidmouth Plastic Warriors on Facebook for more information.

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