Step up for reuse to stop plastic pollution

by CITY TO SEA CIO in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

We did it
On 15th July 2024 we successfully raised £13,124 ( + est. £1107.50 Gift Aid ) with 170 supporters in 42 days

We're training community activists across the UK to put pressure on local leaders to step up and stop plastic pollution.

Project by CITY TO SEA CIO

Our reliance on single-use plastic is out of control. The UK's largest plastic waste survey revealed the country throws away almost two billion pieces of plastic packaging each week!  Plastic pollution is causing an environmental crisis. We urgently need to move away from our single-use culture towards a more sustainable, circular future, with reuse and refill at the centre.


Who we are:

City to Sea is an environmental charity on a mission to prevent plastic pollution at source. We’re leading the transition from single-use to reuse, campaigning and delivering solutions with long-lasting impact. We’re also the charity behind World Refill Day, a global day of action for refill and reuse supported by an unstoppable global movement of everyday activists, NGOs and sustainable businesses on a mission to make plastic pollution a thing of the past.

What we want to do:

With a general election around the corner, we need local communities to take action on plastic pollution in their region. We’ll provide them with the knowledge, resources, materials and everything they need to organise events, engage their local representatives and gain media interest in community efforts to stop plastic pollution and help tackle the climate crisis. 

Donations will be spent on training up community activists to take action in their local area to directly influence legislation, as well as raising awareness of the plastics crisis and the crucial role legislative change must play in the transition to a circular economy. We will do this by providing training sessions with behaviour change and media and campaigning experts, creating resources, guides and materials for events, as well as digital resources and assets.

Equipped with the knowledge and resources provided, hundreds of empowered community activists will be able to campaign at a grassroots level by amplifying City to Sea’s Reuse Manifesto, which calls on the government to address the plastics crisis by setting legally-binding, time-bound reuse targets. 

Supporting our community of activists across the UK will speed up the transition away from single-use to reuse – from grassroots to government.


Our Reuse Manifesto:

Research shows that people want to reduce single-use packaging, but they can’t access reusable alternatives where they shop. We need governments to legislate mandatory standards for reuse to support industry to scale-up and meet growing demand to make plastic pollution a thing of the past.

That’s why, in this important election year, we’ve launched our Reuse Manifesto calling for the legislative change needed to drive the transition away from single-use and towards circular systems of refill and reuse.

Key demands of the Reuse Manifesto include:
 1. For the UK Government to set legally-binding and time-bound targets to increase the amount of packaging on the market that’s reusable - 5% by 2026 and 30% by 2030

2. To support a robust, legally binding Global Plastics Treaty. 


The story so far:

Recent research we conducted showed that 80 percent of Brits are taking action to reduce their use of single-use plastic and willing to do more, but they can’t find available options where they shop. 

Introducing more products in refillable and reusable packaging would easily cut single-use plastic and make a huge difference. But, whilst the UK Government has implemented some effective plastic bans, progress transitioning the country away from single-use packaging is far too slow. 

England’s Deposit Return Scheme has been delayed three times and is not due now until 2027, whilst the Extended Producer Responsibility policy has seen limited implementation. 

Cutting back on single-use plastic isn’t rocket science and we already have the tools we need to make it happen. Since launching in 2015, our award-winning Refill campaign has saved an estimated 60 million+ plastic bottles through simply connecting people with locations where they can refill their reusable water bottles, improving accessibility on the go.

From M&S making homecare products available to purchase in returnable packaging, to Aldi’s in-store refills for dried goods, to brand-led initiatives such as Ecover’s refill stations, industry is trying. But now we need government to put legislation in place to reduce the amount of single-use plastic packaging being produced so that all businesses have to comply. This will create a level playing field for businesses to help deliver reuse and refill at scale.

A reusable future is possible. But we need to act now.




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