By Molly Paul
|Horsforth residents are taking action to try and reduce plastic with the focus on the upcoming festivities of Halloween and Christmas.
Pages were set up in July on Facebook and Twitter called Plastic Free North West Leeds after people became worried about “the planet drowning in plastic”.
The groups aimed to spread the word about the environmental problem by sharing ideas on improving consumer choice and promoting local efforts, with recent posts on making seasonal events plastic free.
Plastic Free Community Leader for NW Leeds Kirsty Tucker said that if people change their mindset, they can easily achieve Christmas and Halloween.
She said: “We are working and talking to local businesses to encourage plastic reduction, even if it’s allowing people to bring tubs to be filled in our local delis and butchers.”
Local business and vegan cafe The Greenhouse is selling plastic-free Christmas meals that arrive in a cardboard box to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Greenhouse owner and manager Richard Revill said: “It is and has always been part of our set up as a business to stop constant waste.”
“We try to reduce plastic as much as we can whether it be buying local veg or growing it at home – any chance of reducing, we try.”
This is the first plastic-free Christmas meal The Greenhouse has done with nearly all the boxes being sold.
Halloween is another plastic heavy event which Kirsty Tucker has tried to combat on the Facebook and Twitter pages.
She said: “We advertised a Halloween costume swap in Moortown, and there are plenty of supermarket cardboard decorations or you could create your own which could be so much fun with the kids.”
“Sweets are a difficult one. I now avoid Cadbury and Nestle due to the non-recyclable wrapper; however, we have discovered smarties in a cardboard tube and my little boy loves them.”
The group recently signed up with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), an organisation to stop plastic in the ocean, to work towards a plastic-free status.
Every year eight million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean, joining the 150 million tonnes already circulating.
“One of the lovely things of being part of the SAS is that we can give out plastic-free awards to those businesses making every effort to reduce plastic and waste,” said Mrs Tucker.
Jonathon Taylor, a Horsforth councillor said: “Horsforth residents are stepping up to raise awareness on issues that matter, this time ending single-use plastics.”
“I will support local campaigners to spread the word to businesses and households – I hope some bigger employers will lead the way by setting an example to help make this positive change.”