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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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.

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Local businesses called on to go plastic free in 2021

Destination Chesterfield is calling on businesses in the borough to go plastic free in 2021.

The town’s marketing organisation has signed up to become a Plastic Free Ally of Plastic Free Chesterfield, a campaign group working to reduce single-use plastics in the borough. The group is part of over 700 other similar Plastic Free groups coordinated by national charity, Surfers Against Sewage.

Destination Chesterfield now wants businesses to follow its lead and become part of the local effort dedicated to minimising the town’s contribution to the single-use plastic crisis.

Becoming a Plastic Free Ally means Destination Chesterfield will now be plastic free at the many events, ceremonies and conferences it organises each year as well as in its day-to-day activities.

Amongst the many changes Destination Chesterfield will make, single-use plastic cups and coffee cups will be swapped 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 at events.

The four-strong Destination Chesterfield team have also all personally pledged to use refillable bottles or cups instead of single use plastic water bottles.

Dom Stevens, manager of Destination Chesterfield said: “We’re excited to be working in partnership with Plastic Free Chesterfield. We hope members of the town’s business community will now join us in our mission to reduce the impact of plastic on our environment, both locally and globally.

“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.”

Greg Hewitt, Plastic Free Chesterfield Community Lead commented: “We’re delighted to have the support of Destination Chesterfield, with the amazing work they do to support local businesses here in Chesterfield. It comes at a fantastic time for our group, which last year resulted in 50 Chesterfield businesses signing up to become Plastic Free Champions, as well as Chesterfield Borough Council officially backing our campaign.”

A number of businesses have already become Plastic Free Champions, including The Pekoe Café at Northern Tea Merchants, R.P Davidson Cheese Factor, Shop Indie in Vicar Lane Shopping Centre and Chesterfield High Street Awards winner Steph’s Sustainable Stuff.

Greg added: “We now look forward to working with both Destination Chesterfield and Chesterfield Borough Council to reach out to and sign up even more businesses, particularly those with 100 or more staff, where a business representative must join our Steering Group if we are to officially become an accredited Plastic Free Community.”

Businesses that wish to join Destination Chesterfield and become a Plastic Free Champion or find out more about reducing plastic consumption in their organisation, should visit

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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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