SWAPP – Stone & Walton Against Plastic Pollution

Stone & Walton Against Plastic Pollution picked 17 bags of rubbish at their first litter pick.

Reduce plastic pollution says new community group

A new community group has been set up to promote an awareness of the damage that littering is having on our environment, our wildlife and our community. Stone & Walton Against Plastic Pollution (SWAPP) will carry out litter picking activities and campaign to reduce littering and the use of single-use plastics in Stone and Walton.

The group carried out its first litter pick in Walton on April 14 and had a fantastic response from people willing to clean up their local environment. The litter pick was supported by Street Scene who collected the 17 bags of rubbish that the group picked. SWPP founder Tracey Lindop, from Walton, said:

“Most people now realise how damaging litter is but many people may not realise that plastics make up 70 per cent of all litter and unfortunately only 9 per cent of all the plastic ever made has been recycled.

“So plastic has become a major pollutant; killing and injuring millions of animals around the globe every year and is dangerous to human health as it is a known carcinogen.

“Litter removal also has a huge financial cost to councils and research has shown that littering can lead to anti-social behaviour and a reduction in tourism.”

SWAPP wants to encourage everyone, individuals or businesses, in Stone and Walton to get involved in reducing their use of single-use plastics, swapping old habits for new and swapping plastic for more sustainable materials. Here are a few ideas to help get you started: swap plastic wraps and foil in the kitchen for containers, cookware and sustainable wraps; buy a reusable water bottle; always carry a ‘bag for life’; refuse plastic straws in drinks and plastic cutlery and cups; buy vegetables and fruit without plastic wrapping, when possible; support pubs and cafes using glass and ceramic cups; talk to other people about reducing plastic use and why littering is unacceptable; sign petitions.

Tracey Lindop concluded:

“Sometimes a problem can seem so great that we feel that we can’t possibly make a difference, however the exact opposite is true! The biggest difference is made by many people making small changes.

“Governments all around the world are now taking plastic use and littering very seriously, because people have become outraged and have responded to television programmes such as Blue Planet 2. Most importantly we all need to follow the simple message: refuse, reduce, recycle, reuse.”

SWAPP is supported by Stafford Borough Council and will be looking to work, support and provide talks and information to other voluntary groups and schools over the coming years.

If you wish to join the group, join in on litter picks, get more information or just join in by chatting to like-minded folk, then contact SWAPP by email at swapplitter free@outlook.com or see the Facebook page, SWAPP Litter Free Project: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1757881730901849/