Will People of Eastbourne Celebrate With Plastic?

Now the lockdown is being gradually eased and people can gather in small groups in their gardens and public places, will people of Eastbourne be planning a celebration?

Plastic Free Eastbourne wants to encourage all communities to hold celebrations should they wish to when this pandemic has allowed us all to gather and mingle once again in groups.

But while we were in the lockdown, our town has changed. It has the cleanest air for a long time. Our wildlife is enjoying the lowest levels of pollution in their habitats for decades. We can hear birdsong and nature in clear conditions. Our streets and open spaces are as free of litter as ever before. We would like to retain these conditions from now on.

One big way of retaining this newly obtained environment is to make sure wherever possible that any gathering remains single-use plastic free, which is in line with Eastbourne’s status as a Plastic Free Community since December 2019, fully supported by Eastbourne Borough Council.

The examples of single-use plastic hugely damaging for the environment include but are not limited to:

  • balloons,
  • plastic single-use water bottles
  • clingfilm
  • plastic cutlery
  • single-use plastic packaging
  • lighted lanterns

Instead, we should try to celebrate like we saw people doing in the newsreels during VE Day in 1945. Not one balloon was visible and yet, they obviously were having a great time!

So what are the alternatives? We have some suggestions for you:

  • planting a tree communally
  • ribbon dancers
  • banners and streamers
  • kites and spinners
  • tissue paper pompoms
  • light a candle
  • drumming
  • seed bombs to name just a few.

Of course, all of these should be plastic-free, made from recycled materials, or for more than one use. Hygienic packaging of food and drink should be washable and reusable, such as plastic reusable boxes with lids. Alternatively, products made from Vegware or similar should be chosen.

We would like to build on the great work which we as a town have done together to reduce single-use plastic already. We have the reputation for being at the forefront of developing a Plastic Free Community. If we all agree, we can take our campaign up to the next level and contribute greatly to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

And above all – we will keep our town and our coastline free of plastic for the next generations to enjoy.

Oliver Sterno

Plastic Free Eastbourne, EEAN Education Group

Photos by Brian YurasitsEleni Koureas on Unsplash.

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