january litter pickAs you will hopefully be aware, the Sustainable Consumer group has been working towards Leek becoming a Plastic Free Community and we are finally there.

We needed 12 local businesses to become Plastic Free Champions and now we have reached our target!

We also needed 30 Plastic Free Allies. These are clubs, organisations, churches, Scouts, etc. In fact, anything that isn’t a business. Until very recently, we had 29 of these and NOW have just had the 30th sign up.

We have also promoted Plastic Free through stalls, talks to groups such as WIs and U3A, litter picks, a Plastic Free harvest festival and plastic free picnics. More events will be held going forward to keep plastic firmly in the public eye!   The Town Council have also given us their full backing.

It’s really exciting to have reached Plastic Free Status. It has been three years of hard work. I am hoping to hold a celebration event for everyone when we have earned it.  Watch this space!

I am so grateful to all the local businesses and organisations who have supported us.

Plastic free schools logo blue 800x600 croppedIt doesn’t stop here though!! We are going to carry on looking for more businesses and allies to sign up. The more support we have, the less single use plastic will be used in the Moorlands!

Also, existing Business Champions who are at the Bronze level but carry on making changes to their plastic use can become Silver or even Gold Champions!

Schools can also be Plastic Free Allies and we have three in Leek – Beresford, Leek First and Woodcroft. They can also work towards becoming a Plastic Free School. I am working with Leek First’s ‘Plastic Free Squad’ to help them achieve this and I am also going to be working with Beresford in the near future. We often find that if children learn about these things at school they take the message home to their parents and that way more changes are made.

Obviously, using less single use plastic is the best thing to do, encouraging people to make plastic free choices whilst shopping.   It can now be more easily recycled at large supermarkets but recycling isn’t the ideal answer and doesn’t make it all right. Remember - REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.

An alternative to recycling is making ‘Ecobricks’ - plastic bottles stuffed tight with cut up pieces of single use plastics. They can then be used to build things - furniture, planters and even sheds and other structures. The thinking is that plastic lasts for hundreds of years so why not put it to good use?

We have an Ecobricks group who try to meet once a month to make bricks. We meet at the Friends Meeting House in Leek and are aiming to build a planter for their garden.

If you want to know more about Plastic Free Leek and Ecobricks or want to get involved in any other way, please email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sally Perry