Delight as Wells wins Plastic Free accolade

August 01 2018
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WELLS has become the first officially recognised Plastic Free community in Somerset.

Schools, businesses and organisations across the city from the city council to Wells WI have been working to reduce the use of single-use plastics in Wells.

The announcement that their efforts have paid off with the award of Plastic Free status was made on July 23 by the group leading the campaign against plastic pollution, Surfers Against Sewage. “Somerset has its first Plastic Free Communities Approved location. Congratulations Wells!” it said.

Tom Ronan from the Plastic Free Wells group that has been co-ordinating action in the city said: “We have been working hard on gaining accreditation for about six months so we were really pleased for all that work to have been recognised.”

The news was also welcomed by Wells Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and Wells City Council, both strong supporters of the scheme.

“Wells Chamber of Commerce is delighted the City of Wells has been awarded Plastic Free status. We all need to look at ways of reducing our reliance on single-use plastics both in business at home. The chamber is pleased to support this initiative,” said chairman Robert Powell.

Mayor of Wells Councillor Celia Wride said: “Wells City Council is delighted to hear that the city has achieved Plastic Free status. The council has supported this effort from the start, passing a resolution to enable the city to become eligible and helping in practical ways including awareness events at the Town Hall and litter-picks.”

To gain the Plastic Free community accolade meant meeting guidelines set by Surfers Against Sewage. The scheme involved working with the city council, local businesses, community groups, church groups and schools with the aim of replacing damaging, wasteful single-use plastics with sustainable alternatives.

Meredith Roberts from the Plastic Free Wells said: “The support from the businesses and community groups in Wells have helped make this fantastic achievement possible. Particular thanks should go to The Bishop’s Table, Cathedral Cafe, The Swan Hotel, The Square, The Sherston , Daniels Sandwich Bar, Rugantinos and Kitty Banks. They all changed at least three single-use plastics and will receive their certificates from Surfers Against Sewage very soon, recognising their support for the campaign.”

Other businesses to play a part included accountants Probusiness, who donated more than 400 reuseable coffee cups to help with the Plastic Free bid.

“A lot of hard work went into achieving our city’s new Plastic Free status, and the team involved deserves our heartiest thanks and congratulations,” said Probusiness director Jane Bowe.

“Now that problem plastics are high in our collective consciousness, we need to try to keep them there, and keep on reducing their use. Well done Wells, we are proud to have been a part of this initiative.”

Activity by Plastic Free Wells in the past month has included members giving a talk to Wells Brownies and the Wells National Women’s Register group.

A ‘Return the Plastic’ event was held at Lidl, meaning that all four of the supermarkets in Wells have been visited and had “not currently recycled” plastic returned to them.

Plastic Free Wells will continue its work to reduce as much non-recyclable, single-use plastic as possible from Wells. To join or find out more, email plasticfreewells@gmail.com