plastic free chesterfield

New festival aims to build on town’s recent plastic-free accolade

Chesterfield campaign group, Plastic Free Chesterfield, is aiming to build on their recent Plastic Free Community award by organising a Plastic Free Festival, taking place on Sunday 8th August, 10am-5pm on New Square at Chesterfield market.

Organisers say the Plastic Free Festival aims to be the one-stop place to help people to reduce their single-use plastics. At the event, festival-goers can enjoy a plastic-free marketplace with stallholders selling products that encourage a plastic-free lifestyle, with businesses such as the award-winning Steph’s Sustainable Stuff, Elsie Moss Botanical, Astra Designs UK and Smarties Fruit & Veg.

Alongside the stalls will be craft recycling and upcycling workshops provided by local crafters. And to provide a festival-feel, there’ll be live music and dance performances along with food and drink courtesy of local Plastic Free Champion business, El Cafe Verde.

Special guest performances on the day include Nick Toczec, Yorkshire poet and entertainer, as well as the Chesterfield Garland Dancers. Local budding poets are being asked to take part in a Plastic Free Poetry competition, with winners performing at the festival itself.

So that the event can live up to its name, attendees will be encouraged to bring their own reusable bags, cups, coffee mugs and containers. And two Crooked Spire branded festival cups (a reusable coffee cup and a half pint cup), sponsored by local Chesterfield businesses, will be available either to loan or buy at the event.

 

The festival is sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council, with over £700 of funding for the event coming from the council’s Community Infrastructure Levy grant scheme.

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield Community Lead said: “The Plastic Free Festival will be a really great opportunity to show off the fantastic work that the Chesterfield community have achieved so far to reduce their single-use plastics, celebrating our recent Plastic Free Community accreditation. The festival is the first of its kind in the area and aims to help the public to discover some fantastic local independent businesses, of which all are reducing their plastic footprint.”

“We are delighted that not only has Chesterfield Borough Council given us some funding to be able to run the event, they’ve also given us permission to hold the festival on New Square on Chesterfield market. It will be a great family fun day out.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We’re proud to be funding the Plastic Free Festival, by working together with the community we can make real changes that will help improve the local environment and help us all reduce our carbon footprint.”

“The festival is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to understand how they can lead a plastic-free lifestyle. But it is also an important celebration of the businesses and organisations that have helped our town become an accredited Plastic Free Community.”

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Plastic-free July: How Chesterfield Champions are working to reduce single-use plastics

Businesses across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire have been doing their bit as part of efforts across the town to cut down on single-use plastic waste.

And with the issue under the spotlight throughout the ‘Plastic Free July’ awareness month, we’ve teamed up with local community group, Plastic-free Chesterfield to find out how Chesterfield Champions have been playing their part.

The organisation is challenging the community of Chesterfield to join the Plastic Free July challenge and make at least one swap away from single-use plastic throughout the month.

To give people a helping hand, Plastic Free Chesterfield will be providing daily tips on their social media accounts throughout the month of July, as well as holding an advice and information stall on Chesterfield Market on Saturday 3rd July.

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield Community Lead, said: “Plastic Free July is such a great opportunity for individuals & families, businesses, schools, colleges, and community groups & organisations to be able to think about what single-use plastic they’re using, and attempt the challenge to find and make at least one swap away.

“Anyone who contacts Plastic Free Chesterfield will be provided with friendly top tips and advice and we really hope that the Chesterfield community can join in this exciting challenge.

“Chesterfield may be far from the sea but as soon as any plastic runs off into our streams and rivers, it will make its way to the ocean. Therefore we must work together as a Chesterfield community to reduce single-use plastics and find alternatives.

“Chesterfield is now an accredited Plastic Free Community with over 100 businesses, community organisations and schools signed up to reduce their single-use plastics. Therefore now is a key opportunity to be a part of this fantastic movement and say no to single use plastic packaging.”

How Chesterfield Champions are swapping plastic waste for sustainable alternatives

Northern Tea Merchants

Northern Tea Merchants allows people to bring in their own containers to purchase loose tea and coffee. Their tea and coffee is sold loose without the need for plastic packaging. They also use paper bags.

Shop Indie

Shop Indie on Vicar Lane has taken several measures to reduce the amount of single-use plastic it uses. The store gives out paper bags to customers, while the beauty products they sell are packaged in glass. The shop sells a small range of bar vegan soaps instead of single-use plastic soap bottles. Shop Indie also encourages suppliers to provide either naked cards or compostable bags instead of single-use plastic card bags.

R.P Davidson Cheese Factor

The Cheese Factor has recently taken a major change and has eliminated all plastic packaging on the shop’s cheeseboards, switching instead to cardboard packaging. The Cheese Factor also uses paper bags instead of single use plastic bags. In terms of refill, The Cheese Factor allows customers to bring their own containers to take away cheese and other products from the store on the side of the market hall.

Chesterfield College

Chesterfield College open days

Chesterfield College has swapped plastic cutlery for wood and bamboo spoons, knives and forks. The college has also swapped plastic straws for paper straws, and swapped plastic takeaway boxes for Vegware takeaway trays.

Chesterfield Football Club

Chesterfield FC Proact

Chesterfield FC and Chesterfield FC Community Trust have signed the Plastic Free Pledge, committing to reduce single-use plastics. The Community Trust also does excellent work in raising awareness about plastic pollution in our local schools.

Derbyshire Voluntary Action

Derbyshire Voluntary Action has stopped buying plastic water bottles and are using water filter jugs. The organisation has pledged not to use disposable cups and plates at their forums and meetings. DVA aims to use other refillables wherever possible.

Green Arch Consulting

Green Arch Consulting founder, Emma Knight-Strong has pledged to spread the word about Plastic Free Chesterfield and its objectives, make connections between Plastic Free Chesterfield and interested organisations and individuals who would like to be involved, or who can help further the impact of the group.

As a sole trader based from a home office, Emma has minimal single use plastics impact, however her greatest impact is in helping her clients to understand and reduce their own single use plastics.

Junction Arts

The team at Junction Arts has pledged not to serve drinks in disposable cups at their events and workshops, and are also using plastic-free tea bags. The charity also makes sure that all its print marketing is recyclable.

West Studios

Business Support

Chesterfield’s West Studios is home to a number of small businesses, and now provides wooden stirrers instead of plastic, sugar in containers rather than sachets, and provides customers with a discount on drinks when they bring their own reusable mugs for use in the café area. West Studios has also switched to vegwear for single-use hot drink containers.

Monkey Park CIC

Monkey Park uses a number of environmentally friendly packaging solutions such as cardboard straws, paper bags, cardboard takeaway containers and vegware sandwich boxes instead of single-use plastic packaging. Monkey Park also sell grain travelware cutlery instead of single-use plastic cutlery.

 

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Chesterfield is awarded ‘Plastic Free Communities’ Status as it Takes Action on Single-Use Plastic.

Chesterfield has joined a network of communities across the UK who are leading the way to tackle throw away plastic at source.

The town has been awarded Plastic Free Community status by marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in recognition of the work it has done to start reducing the impact of single-use plastic on the environment.

Local Tapton resident, Greg Hewitt, started the campaign in summer 2019 after watching a number of documentaries such as Blue Planet 2 and A Plastic Ocean.

Registering with the SAS Plastic Free Communities movement, Greg and a number of volunteers have pulled together key organisations and businesses in the town to put in place a five-point plan. The objectives include; setting up a community led steering group, instigating the SAS Plastic Free Schools education programme, getting local council commitment and working with local businesses, organisations and community groups to spread the word and minimise the amount of disposable plastics they use.

Greg said: “The campaign has been challenging, especially with Covid, but most business and community organisations we have spoken to have been supportive of the campaign and have signed up. Having support from major partners such as the council, Destination Chesterfield, Derbyshire Voluntary Action, and Chesterfield FC feels amazing.

So far 50 local independent businesses have signed up to the campaign, each making at least three swaps away from single use plastic. These include the award-winning Steph’s Sustainable Stuff, The Cheese Factor, El Cafe Verde and No10.

Plastic Free Chesterfield rose above the challenges of the Covid pandemic in 2020 by organising monthly webinars featuring speakers from Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Ethical Consumer.

And whilst businesses were joining in, 40 community organisations have signed a Plastic Free Pledge showing their support for the campaign. These include Chesterfield Garland Dancers, Our Vision Our Future, and the newly formed Chesterfield Litter Picking Group.

Greg continued: “To finally reach Plastic Free Community status after a year and a half feels incredible. It is the culmination of many hours given by volunteers who all want Chesterfield to reduce single-use plastics. Just because we now have the status, doesn’t mean Chesterfield is completely plastic free. This is an ongoing journey and we will continue our work to gain the support for our campaign in the community.”

The Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Community network aims to free the places where we live from single-use. Using the five point plan the aim is to empower communities to kick start local grassroots action, which can then be built upon.

The marine conservation charity, based in St Agnes in Cornwall, says it wants to unite communities to tackle avoidable plastic from the beach all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it. It says it is not about removing all plastic from our lives, but kicking our addiction to throwaway plastic and changing the system that produces it.

Rachel Yates, SAS Plastic Free Communities Project Manager, said: “It’s great to see the work that Chesterfield has done to reduce the availability of avoidable plastics, raise awareness and encourage people to refill and reuse.”

“We have over seven hundred communities across the UK working to reduce single use plastic and the impact it has on our environment. Every step those communities and the individuals in them take is a step towards tackling the problem at source, challenging our throwaway culture and encouraging the habit and system changes we need to see.”

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Plastic Free Chesterfield urges businesses to ‘build back greener’

As Chesterfield’s shops, restaurants and cafes start to plan their re-opening from 12th April, local campaign action group, Plastic Free Chesterfield, is calling on the borough’s business sector to Build Back Better and Build Back Greener from the Covid-19 pandemic, by pledging to reduce their single-use plastics.

A Surfers Against Sewage survey last year found that 63% of respondents want to decrease their personal consumption of plastic packaging and 60% want to use refillable containers more once lockdown eases.

Plastic Free Chesterfield is offering to support businesses with advice on how to reduce their single-use plastics, listing swaps they can take on their website, along with a Facebook group to network and ask questions from other businesses who have made changes.

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield Community Lead said: “Whilst businesses are currently closed and are preparing to open, then can use this time to their advantage by planning ahead, and reducing their single-use plastics, ready for opening. For those hospitality businesses the government has already helped, by banning single-use plastic straws and stirrers, but for other businesses, there are always ways of making sustainable swaps.”

Companies who can make at least three swaps away from single-use plastic will be awarded the status as a Plastic Free Champion business, gaining a certificate and plaque, as well as free publicity from the group.

Destination Chesterfield recently signed up to become a Plastic Free Ally in the town. The organisation has pledged to make a number of changes at its in-person events, including swapping single-use plastic cups and coffee cups for glass and china glasses and mugs for drinks, metal cutlery will be used instead of single-use plastic cutlery and paper, and card or cotton bags will replace single use plastic bags.

Businesses wishing to Build Back Greener should get in touch with Plastic Free Chesterfield via their website

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Chesterfield FC pledges support to Plastic Free Chesterfield

Chesterfield FC and Chesterfield FC Community Trust have both signed up to become Plastic Free Allies.

Joining forces with Plastic Free Chesterfield, both organisations are pledging to reduce their plastic waste and move away from single-use plastic to alternate solutions.

Greg Hewitt, the community lead at Plastic Free Chesterfield, said: “We’re incredibly delighted to have the support of Chesterfield Football Club and Chesterfield FC Community Trust.

“The work they do in schools, raising awareness of single-use plastic pollution is inspirational, and it is fantastic that they now wish to take this a step further by signing up to our campaign and look at reducing single-use plastics at the football club.

“Their support is a huge step forward in our campaign to make Chesterfield an accredited Plastic Free Community.”

“We now look forward to being able to support the club in their efforts as well as being able to work in partnership to develop the schools outreach work on plastics, and to roll this out across all Chesterfield schools. We encourage schools to get in touch to request this.”

Martin Thacker, co-vice chairman of the football club and a trustee of the Community Trust, signed the pledge on behalf of both organisations. He said: “We are very happy to support the work being done by Plastic Free Chesterfield to reduce the use of single-use plastic in order to protect the environment.”

Recently, Destination Chesterfield also pledged it’s support for Plastic Free Chesterfield.  Destination Chesterfield Manager, Dom Stevens said: “In 2021 we’re encouraging businesses across Chesterfield to see if they’re able to make changes to their plastic use. If we all work together then, collectively, we’ll make a big difference in reducing the environmental impact on the rivers and beautiful local landscape here in North Derbyshire.”

Chesterfield Football Club supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Chesterfield residents encouraged to take a New Year’s Resolution to reduce plastic pollution

Single-use plastic campaign group, Plastic Free Chesterfield, is encouraging Chesterfield residents to take a Plastic Free New Year’s Resolution Pledge, helping to reduce plastic pollution by making at least one swap away from single-use plastics in 2021.

The issue has been high up the agenda recently, with Chesterfield Borough Council passing a motion earlier in December, taking the pledge themselves to remove single-use plastics from council operations, along with supporting Plastic Free Chesterfield and future plastic-free initiatives.

2020 proved to be a mixed year for the issues of plastic pollution, with single-use face masks and gloves littering our environment and waterways due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and later in the year the UK government officially banned plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds.

Destination Chesterfield and a number of local businesses, initiatives and community groups have pledged to become ‘plastic free champions,’ aimed at cutting single-use plastics from their products and operations.

Plastic Free Chesterfield are now calling on residents to take action themselves, publishing ideas for swaps on their website as well as social media.

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield Community Lead, said: “The New Year is a perfect time to start thinking about what more can be done to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill, or worse in our streams, rivers and oceans.”

“We want to make it as easy as possible for Chesterfield residents to take action, and are encouraging everyone to make at least one swap away from using single-use plastic. This could range from bringing your own reusable bags when going shopping, to reusing and refilling cleaning products and pantry goods from Plastic Free Champion and award-winning businesses such as Steph’s Sustainable Stuff.”

The group has published 21 Ideas for New Year’s Plastic-Free swaps. This can be found via the Plastic Free Chesterfield website:
21 Ideas for 2021: New Year’s Plastic-Free Swaps

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Chesterfield community group to provide ‘Tips for a Plastic Free Christmas’

As the festive season gets underway, single-use plastic group, Plastic Free Chesterfield, are launching their new campaign providing tips on how to have a greener, plastic-free Christmas.

With so much excitement surrounding many elements of Christmas, being environmentally conscious can sometimes be difficult to think about.

Research shows that waste can double during the Christmas period, and most of it is plastic from gift wrapping and packaging. In the UK we go through more than 40 million rolls of (mostly plastic) sticky tape every year, and use enough wrapping paper to go around the Equator nine times. Along with this around 125,000 tonnes of plastic wrapping used for food is discarded over the festive period.

Plastic Free Chesterfield is working to create a plastic free community in Chesterfield with Surfers Against Sewage. A community dedicated to minimising Chesterfield’s contribution to the single-use plastic crisis. The group has set up the ‘Plastic Free Champions’ scheme for Chesterfield businesses to get support in reducing their use of single use plastics.

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield community lead said: “About 8 million tonnes of plastic gets into our oceans every year, and plastic production is increasing. We need to change direction. Christmas is an opportunity to spread ideas for alternatives to plastic waste. From decorations, to wrapping paper, to all sorts of reusable or alternative present ideas.”

Greg continued: “Key figures such as David Attenborough have reminded us this year that despite being in a pandemic, we are still facing a huge plastic pollution and climate crisis. The Christmas period is a really great opportunity for individuals to do their bit and take action on this and Plastic Free Chesterfield wants to make this as easy and accessible for people to do as possible.”

The tips are being provided every day starting from 1st December on the Plastic Free Chesterfield social media channels as well as being listed on their website.

Find out more about Christmas activities in Chesterfield here. 

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Christmas, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Home, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , ,

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