Plastic Free Chesterfield calls on Chesterfield businesses to #BuildBackBetter

As Chesterfield’s shops, restaurants and cafes start to plan their re-opening later this Spring following the Prime Minister’s announcement, Plastic Free Chesterfield is calling on the business sector to #BuildBackBetter and #BuildBackGreener from the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Surfers Against Sewage survey last year found that 63% of respondents want to decrease their personal consumption of plastic packaging and 60% want to use refillable containers more once lockdown eases.

The campaign to reduce single-use plastic across Chesterfield now has the support of the Borough Council, major employer CCS Media, 50 businesses and 50 community allies, including Destination Chesterfield and Chesterfield Football Club.

The Main Offenders

  • Plastic bottles – the UK uses a staggering 38.5 million single-use plastic bottles every day, of which fewer than 60% are currently recycled
  • Coffee cups – lined with single-use plastic. Only 1% of the 2.5 billion coffee cups are used in the UK each year are recycled
  • Plastic straws and stirrers – these are now banned in the UK
  • Plastic bags – these fragment in 100-300 years depending on thickness and size, but will remain at large in the environment indefinitely. They  can kill marine wildlife by unintentional digestion or inhalation
  • Plastic utensils – Food and drink-related plastic items now make up one in every five pieces of litter
  • Avoidable plastic food packaging – UK Supermarkets distribute 112,000 pieces of plastic packaging per minute
  • Condiment sachets – these can take 300 years to break down
  • Balloons – One in three seabirds which die are found to have balloons in their stomachs

How to Build Back Better

  • Water – Join the #RefillRevolution – Offer free reusable water bottle refills from your business
  • Hot drinks – Join the #RefillRevolution – Charge more for a hot drink served in a single-use coffee cup, with the cheapest price for those who bring their own reusable coffee cups
  • Takeaway containers – Join the #RefillRevolution – charge more for a takeaway served in a single-use container, with the cheapest price for those who bring their own reusable container
  • Cleaning liquids – Join the #RefillRevolution – no longer continue to buy plastic bottle washing up liquid, antibacterial spray, hand soap and switch to buying 5L refill containers from Steph’s Sustainable Stuff
  • Sauce sachets – Remove all single-use sauce sachets and switch to glass bottle sauces that can be wiped down
  • Plastic bags – No bag that says “100% degradeable” is ever good enough. Make the investment for strong paper bags or even branded cotton tote bags. If cost is an issue, consider teaming up with other businesses and bulk buying
  • Check out what swaps our other Plastic Free Champions have made

If you’re part of a Chesterfield business, Plastic Free Chesterfield would love to hear from you on how you will #BuildBackBetter.

Businesses will be rewarded with Plastic Free Champion status, and will receive a certificate and plaque by making three “swaps” away from single use plastic. Check out the Business Toolkit for some ideas of what you can do. And if you need help, put out a message on our Facebook support group.

Businesses can register to become a Plastic Free Champion on our website.

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