ZERO WASTE WEEK – Let’s keep talking!

As Zero Waste Week ( comes to an end it seems a good time to talk about some of our initiatives at KEC for the months ahead regarding waste & recycling.  In particular, we want to talk about plastic, and we want to hear what you have to say!

For many of us, David Attenborough’s Blue Planet TV series, depicting the widespread plastic pollution of our oceans & waterways, was a light-bulb moment and we’ve started to notice fragments of plastic all around us, in our parks, in our gardens, in our rivers & streams.

We might think we are already doing our bit, diligently putting out recycling for kerbside collection and it can be hard to understand where the pollution comes from, leaving us feeling a little powerless.  So, at KEC, we want to go back to the first principles of REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE, and we want to hear from you.  In the coming months we’ll be launching a number of themed projects where we’ll be asking for your observations & ideas, on which to base further initiatives.  There will be lots of opportunities to share your thoughts but here’s some themes to think about now:

Be a Plastic Grump!  We opened a comments book at last weekend’s Kingston Carnival for your grumps & gripes on plastic & recycling. You can pop into the Kingston Environment Centre to add yours to the book or use the field below.  Here’s one of mine: I’m sick of picking plastic banana stickers out of my garden compost – if we must have them, why aren’t they biodegradable?

A Plastic-Free Gardening Year. We’re looking for volunteer households in the borough to take on the challenge of gardening over 12 months without plastic. We know it will require a little planning and we’ve a few tips coming up to help but we really want to hear about your experiences and your solutions.  Get in touch with us if you’d like to have a go or watch out for more announcements.

Local Business – Avoiding Single-Use Plastic – Overcoming the Obstacles & Sharing Best Practice.  Are you a small business based in, or trading in the borough, or a local-business customer? Let us know your observations, your challenges and your solutions to avoiding single-use plastic.  We’ll be reaching out to other organisations working with small business in the coming months, but we’d like to start with you.  Whatever your field, drop us a line or make a comment below.

Shopping Out Plastic.  We all know that our stores & supermarkets are filled with plastic. In some cases, plastic packaging is clearly preserving & protecting our goods & food and we need the suppliers & the stores to find alternative solutions.  Some solutions, however, are already available and we can make a difference in our everyday choices to give our stores a nudge.  So, do you buy the sugar in a plastic bag or a paper bag? Do you buy the bagged apples or the loose ones?  Let us know your tips & solutions to avoiding plastic in the weekly shop in the comments field below!     

At KEC, we’re looking forward to an inspiring year ahead. We’ll be listening closely with a view to developing resources for best practice but remember, IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU!