This year's incredibly successful Binfield 10K event saw a small but hopefully significant change. All of the water stations handed out 100% recycleable paper cups rather than the plastic bottles and cups used in previous years. This was one part of our attempt to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in the village.
Our village cafes are leading the charge to reduce Binfield's consumption of single use plastic. Foxes' Den, Crema, and the cafe at the John Nike ice rink have already changed the products that they sell and The Sanctuary Barn are considering doing the same. This is part of a national campaign that is being run by Surfers Against Sewage and championed by Bracknell Less Plastic.
Although Binfield is not renowned for its surf, Surfers Against Sewage have done a fabulous job of supporting community groups everywhere to organise litter-picks and have now turned their attention to a campaign for a reduction in single-use plastic. One of the ways they are doing this is by awarding communities "Plastic Free" status (https://www.sas.org.uk/plastic-free-communities/). Crowthorne has already been awarded this status and the lovely people at Bracknell Less Plastic are trying to help Binfield achieve the same.
To become Plastic Free Binfield we need to get two community groups, two schools and five businesses taking appropriate actions and developing plans to do more. In addition, the Parish Council will need to add an appropriate statement to its constitution. With Crema, Foxes' Den, Binfield Environment Group and John Nike LeisureSport already taking action we only need to get two more businesses, one more community group and two schools signed up. Discussions are underway with Newbold College who might be one of the latter.
Why is this important? I am one of a number of people that pick litter around the village and plastic makes up a significant proportion of the rubbish that we pick up. Most of us are familiar with some of the horrific scenes of plastic pollution in the oceans, but take a walk alongside The Cut or down Beehive Lane to the South of the John Nike Ice Rink and you can see the impact that waste plastic is having on Binfield. Not only are discarded plastic bottles, bags and other items unsightly, because they don’t break down they pose a long term danger to our local wildlife.
Waste plastic finds its way into our streams and rivers and then out to sea where it adds to the pollution of our oceans. Surfers Against Sewage are campaigning against this and trying to raise awareness of the problems caused by our throw-away approach to plastics. One thing that Bracknell Less Plastic want us to do is organise two community events to raise awareness of the problem and promote the work of Surfers Against Sewage. If you have any ideas then please contact us.
I believe that every one of us can apply pressure on our friends, family, and groups to which we belong, to reduce the use of disposable items. Help make it as socially unacceptable to litter as it is to drive without a seatbelt.