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!

Plastic free certificateBack in 2021, our Sustainable Consumerism group started a campaign to get Plastic-free status for Leek. Sally Perry has been beavering away at this, largely behind the scenes, but is now very close. Here’s an update from her:

Most of you will hopefully be aware that we need at least 12 businesses to become Plastic Free Champions and actively reduce their use of single use plastics, and 30 Community Allies who try to use less and encourage others to do so.

I am very pleased to let you know that we now have 11 businesses and 27 Allies!!   We are nearly there.   I am very keen to have a final push and if we could achieve Plastic Free Status for Leek before Christmas it would be amazing!!

If you own a business or work for someone locally, in ST13, and think you might like to become a Plastic Free Business Champion, please get in touch. Twelve is our target but I’m not stopping there!

Bike repair chaleenge at Biddulph Moor COREs Apple DayMCA had a great day at Biddulph Moor CORE's amazing Apple Day, where all things appley were celebrated.

Not just a stall pressing apples into juice from us, but also children's activities around greenhouse gases and a Repair Cafe stall focussing on bikes.

We gave them a challenge with this one but it seems to have failed its MOT test.

Looking forward to seeing what turns up at the next regular Repair Cafe.

Full width bannerFor those of you who don’t know, we've had Refill up and running in Leek for a few years now. We have around twenty businesses signed up.

Packaging, especially from takeaways, whatever it is made of, is a huge problem as we all know.

So, Refill encourages people to get refills of water, hot drinks, food etc. using their own bottles, cups and containers rather than new ones, thereby reducing packaging, especially plastic.

Businesses can sign up to Refill at no cost to themselves. They put a sticker or poster in their window letting people know they are happy to provide refills. This is important, not just to show they are signed up, but also because people are often reluctant to ask for refills, especially water, without feeling they have to buy something, so posters let them know they are welcome. Moreover, businesses often find they do get extra footfall due to being signed up and these people often do spend money with them. It also means businesses spend less on providing packaging. So, it’s win, win!

When we sign up a business, we add them to the free Refill App, which can be found on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Repair Cafe Word cloud

Word cloud generated from ‘3 little words’ provided by Repair Cafe volunteers explaining what Repair Café means to them.

If you’d like a summary of what the Repair Cafes have been achieving during the past year, here’s their annual report. It seems amazing that it was only recently launched, as it’s become such an important part of our lives. Find out all the lowdown on numbers and types of repairs and get a sneak preview of plans for expansion.

REPAIR CAFE REPORT 2022-2023

The next Repair Café will be at the Foxlowe on Saturday 20 May.

Clothes and media

Following the success of our Winter Clothes Swap we have decided to hold another. A great way to add to your wardrobe for very little cost and help look after the environment as well. It’s a joint venture between the Youth Action and Sustainable Consumer groups, along with Trinity Church, and will be held on Saturday 20 May, 9.30am – 12.30pm.

We would like all kinds of clothes in good condition and books, CDs, games, etc. These can be brought on the day or we can arrange collection beforehand if necessary.

You can either just donate, just take or both!!   It is a free event, although donations would be gratefully received. Tell all your friends!

See you there.   Sally Perry