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Shops help return plastic

The Bognor Regis and Chichester return the plastic group held a special event in Sainsbury’s, Chichester, at the weekend.


The store found the time and space to accommodate the group’s event on Saturday to encourage shoppers to re-think their shopping habits and to return unwanted plastic to the store.


The #returntheplastic group met in the entrance to Chichester’s Sainsbury’s store in Westhampnett and collected a trolley-full of waste plastic in just two hours.


Sainsbury’s manager, Martin Cawdry, also shared some of the plans the supermarket had to reduce their plastic waste.


Sarah Sharp, city councillor for Chichester south, said: “We were told that Sainsbury’s accept not only plastic bags but also other plastic packaging back in their store.


“Shoppers can collect these items which Chichester District Council doesn’t recycle and bring these back when they are next shopping and put them in two large black bins in the store. This plastic is then compacted and recycled and doesn’t go to landfill.”


Victoria Hulatt, who is spearheading a new EcoBrick project in the area, working with local schools, said the morning was successful with ‘positive vibes’ from many shoppers the group talked to.


Liz McCallum, another founder member of the group, also used the opportunity to start a new petition about deposit schemes having seen a trial elsewhere in the UK. She said: “There was a really good feeling from shoppers today- everyone’s fed up with the lack of progress in our supermarkets. I am really pleased that we filled two pages of the petition on the plastic bottle deposit return scheme.”


Sarah Sharp, who brought the issue of single-use plastic to the city council in a motion in December, also wants people to do more in 2019 and get involved with recycling company, Terracycle.


“I hope that schools, groups and the councils can find out about Terracycle and we, as a city, can start collecting crisp packets, toothbrushes and toothpaste containers etc.


“There are lots of opportunities out there for groups to reduce our waste still more and also gain money for charities. A task and finish group has been set up by Chichester City Council and one of the areas I hope the group will be looking at is how to get involved with,” she said.


Bognor Regis and Chichester #returntheplastic is a new group active locally which plans to do regular events outside different supermarkets the first Saturday of every month.


Last month the group campaigned outside Tesco’s in Bognor Regis and February will see the group outside Marks & Spencer in East Street, Chichester.


If you would like to find out more about the group or are interested in helping, please see their Facebook page or contact Sarah on: 07789843556 if you would like to help with the petition.


Alternatively, shoppers can join the nationwide campaign and take individual action to leave plastic waste at the till after having bought goods. This acts as a clear message to supermarkets that they need to take radical action to introduce more compostable and sustainable packaging and cut down on our reliance on single-use plastics.

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