Wilmslow protestors join War on Plastic

About 45 children and 35 adults gathered to protest in Wilmslow on Thursday, 4th July, to protest about plastic pollution, which was filmed by the BBC for their War on Plastics programme.

Participants from Wilmslow High School, Wilmslow Clean Team, Lindow Primary, Gorsey Bank Primary, Ashdene Primary, Lacey Green Academy, St Anne's Primary school, Mottram St Andrew Primary, Alderley Edge School for Girls, and Brownies, joined Plastic Free Wilmslow and Transition Wilmslow in returning unnecessary plastics to Sainsbury's in Wilmslow.

Inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani, everyone wrote messages on the plastic they were returning to say why they were doing it, as part of the #OurPlasticFeedback campaign.

Andrew Backhouse said "Supermarkets like Sainsbury's are major contributors to our household/town plastics and they need to take stronger action to reduce the number of single use plastics they pass on to consumers.

"Supermarkets have tried little things, and claim that recycling will help – but we know that reduction of plastic is far better for the planet than reusing – and that in turn is far better than recycling. There is too much mixed plastics to recycle effectively."

Tilly, aged 12 from Wilmslow High School, is the Wilmslow Champion for "Refill" (the app that helps you find somewhere to refill your water bottle). She is going to be encouraging businesses in Wilmslow to sign up to be refill stations and encouraging everyone to stop buying drinks in single use plastic.

Tilly said :"We are not doing enough – supermarkets are still supplying plastic and people are still buying it."

Flo Collier, of Plastic Free Wilmslow, said "As a family we have attempted to continually reduce our reliance on plastics for the last 5 years, but documentaries such as Blue Planet II and War On Plastic have really called out the system failures we are up against. That is why today I am proud to be gathering all these voices in Wilmslow to say "we are ready for the change" and this is #OurPlasticFeedback!".

Plastic Free Wilmslow has been working with many local businesses and groups to encourage cutting out or using alternatives to single use plastic. It has been set up by Transition Wilmslow and others with the initial aim to obtaining plastic free status for the town from Surfers Against Sewage.

Plastic-Free Wilmslow


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

Julie Green
Sunday 7th July 2019 at 7:20 pm
I want to see the end of plastic packaging with everything you buy but here's an example of what we are up against in one supermarket: Three loose peppers (no packaging) = £1.59. One 3-pack of peppers in a plastic bag = £0.91. Translate that to all of your veg and fruit over a year and that's quite a hit on the pocket!
Pete Taylor
Sunday 7th July 2019 at 7:28 pm
Well done kids; let’s not forget that Hugh and Anita are just handsomely-paid “celebrity” arrivistes though. Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace (plus others) have been banging this drum for many years.
Deleted Account False Name
Monday 8th July 2019 at 3:54 pm
Let's not also forget that for fruit and veg no one in this area lives too far from local farms which sell good products for a fraction of the cost.

Just saying this in support of the cause; supermarkets and the government need to make changes but until then there are plenty of opportunities to cut out plastic at home!
Andrew Backhouse
Monday 8th July 2019 at 6:39 pm
The Sainsbury's Manager met me after the protest and showed me the fruit aisle, where he demonstrated that everything we checked was cheaper unwrapped than wrapped - i had told him the peppers story as it was well known. He is very keen that people demonstrate their wish to give up on plastics to him buy buying unwrapped fruit and veg from him rather than the plastic wrapped ones - so see if you can! (I grow my own when i can though.)
Andrew Backhouse
Deleted Account
Monday 8th July 2019 at 8:30 pm
After decades of buying milk in plastic cartons originating from heaven knows where, our milk
is now delivered to the door by an independent milkman.

It might be marginally dearer but it comes from a farm in Poynton, it arrives in an electric vehicle and what's more, it tastes so much better.
Andrew Backhouse
Wednesday 10th July 2019 at 4:50 pm
Great to hear from Martin on milk. The local milkman I deal with says his sales for glass bottles rose by 10% last year - so some of us are voting on this already.
Julian Barlow
Wednesday 10th July 2019 at 5:01 pm
Back in the 70's someone in an electric vehicle delivered milk to our doorstep. The glass milk bottles were collected and recycled every day and dozens of unnecessary car journeys were prevented.

We had local, independently own green grocers and butchers shops who were happy to sell items individually as well as in bulk and they wrapped their produce in brown paper.

Fizzy drinks were delivered to the door and a deposit was paid for returning the recyclable bottles. As a consequence hundreds of kids became willing rubbish collectors.

There was no price premium for "buying green" and no mention whatsoever of "saving the planet" it was just common sense.

Unfortunately all this unintentional ingenuity was negated by the invention of corduroy trousers and the Bee Gees.
Lisa Johnson
Wednesday 10th July 2019 at 7:00 pm
If any local businesses want to sign up to be a Refill Station, just go to https://refill.org.uk/ where you can sign up. This means that when people are out and about and need to refill their water bottles, they can pop in to fill it with your tap water, which will prevent them from buying a bottle of water in single use plastic.
Tap water is 500 times cheaper than bottled water.
Everyone can download the Refill app (just search Refill in your app store) and that way, wherever you are in the country, you can find a place to refill your water bottle for free.
If just 1 in 10 Brits Refilled once a week, we’d save around 340 million plastic bottles a year.