Plastic Free campaign gathers momentum


The campaign to achieve 'Plastic Free' status for Wilmslow is making progress.

Initially this has involved talking to businesses and community groups, but individuals have also got involved and are offering the steering group a constant stream of ideas about just how Wilmslow residents can reduce their own use of plastics.

Among the most popular initiatives are the refusal of plastic straws, the use of a personal 'Keep Cup' at local coffee shops and refilling plastic water bottles rather than buying new.

Other suggestions include moving from liquid soap in plastic dispensers to bars of soap, having your milk delivered in glass bottles or for parents of babies and young children to try pre-formed washable terry nappies.

Or, because most cleaning products are supplied in plastic, residents are encouraged to experiment with vinegar and water for cleaning windows and microwaves and using baking soda as a scouring agent.

Ruth McNulty, Chair of the steering group, said "We have a stall at next weekend's Artisan Market in Wilmslow. Please come and talk to us about what you are doing or take one of our fliers listing initiative you could take to help drive this project forward. Counter intuitively, we are also collecting 2 litre plastic bottles for the In Bloom team to build a greenhouse. There are collection points in Bank Square and outside Sainsbury."

Plastic-Free Wilmslow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Jon Newell
Tuesday 17th April 2018 at 7:20 pm
Do you have any advice for those of us who need to get grandchildren a drink?
Every toddler friendly commercial drink we have seen comes in a carton with a plastic wrapped plastic straw. Without the straw, the drink carton is impenetrable / the drink undeliverable.
This applies to all the Wilmslow coffee shops and supermarkets.
Obviously, this only comes into play after the grandchildren have exhausted the portable consumables with which we left home.
Sophie Taylor
Tuesday 17th April 2018 at 8:15 pm
This is a fantastic and much - needed project, and it is good to hear that is making progress.
Most Wilmslow coffee shops offer a discount for customers taking their own takeaway cup (Plastic Free Wilmslow have a guide to those offering this discount). However, on a similar note to Jon, most coffee shop chains give drinking water or milk for children in single use take-away cups. It would be brilliant to see them introduce re-useable cups instead.
Pippa Jones
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 12:18 pm
The juice carton question is an extremely good one! Not only is the straw itself plastic, it comes wrapped in another bit of plastic that at best usually gets thrown in the rubbish. I'd imagine that many parents buy these cartons for school lunches, and they are always on sale in leisure centre and other cafes, so the volume of associated plastic just here in Wilmslow must be very considerable. Straws are one of the commonest items found on beach cleans and never degrade; even those marketed as "biodegradable" do not degrade in the ocean.
One option is to take a reusable spill proof mug with your child or grandchild, and ask for it to be filled up from the larger cartons the cafe must presumably have. If you want a straw (and I believe this may be better for children's teeth when drinking undiluted fruit juice) buy some paper straws or invest in a set of bamboo or stainless steel straws which come with a cleaning brush. You can come along and see these at the PlasticFreeWilmslow stall at the Artisan Market on Saturday!
It would be great if our cafes in Wilmslow (including the Leisure centre perhaps?) could consider a discount for children who bring their own reusable cup.
The other important step is to make it clear to the supermarkets that we want to reduce our plastic footprint in Wilmslow. The easiest step would be not to buy the cartons in the first place, but other options include writing to the supermarkets to ask them to consider alternatives, supporting organisations such as Surfers Against Sewage ( whose website has useful ideas about reducing plastics, and older children might want to get involved with Kids Against Plastic (@KidsVPlastic) or look at websites such as which has a kids-what-you-can-do page full of ideas of how children can join the campaign.
There will be plenty of ideas at the stall on Saturday so please do come along and tell us what you think are the best ways for Wilmslow to do its bit in reducing our collective plastic footprint and maintaining (and even perhaps improving) our environment for our children and grandchildren.