Recognising the high level of concern about plastics use and pollution, Oxford Friends of the Earth coordinated a meeting open to the public on 29 January.
Facilitated by Chris Church, discussions focused initially on:
Practical and positive ways to reduce plastics. These include the work done by SESI (the Oxford ‘refill station’ based in east Oxford), the new push by Refill Oxford and others for public drinking fountains and for shops to offer free refills of water bottles. There was also some discussion of plans to work with local dairies to bring back milk in glass bottles, and to develop and remote new refill stations (for e.g. liquid detergents).
Getting people engaged and active.
- Getting people making changes themselves e.g. using their own reusable cups for hot drinks and refillable water bottles
- Getting people active – many people were keen to help survey local cafes etc. to find their attitudes to phasing out plastic and what they are doing
- Promoting the positive alternatives and actions (e.g. SESI and also those coffee shops that offer significant discounts to those who bring their own reusable cups)
Pushing for change by larger agencies e.g. schools, hospitals, colleges, businesses etc. There is clearly a great deal that needs to be done on this, including research to find out the current state of play, and to identify which agencies are acting (e.g. City Council) and which ones we should focus on.
The second part of the meeting focused on what we should / could do.
If you would like to hear more and get involved, please email Chris.