Image shows a green background with a white circle in the centre. Inside the circle are the words "Say No to Plastic". Below the circle, along the bottom of the image are cartoon images of plastic bottles, cartons and bags. At the two top corners of the image are two planet Earth cartoon images.

Plastic Free July

Did you know that in the UK we throw away 295 billion pieces of plastic every year? If that weren’t bad enough, 93% of those are single use plastics and over 70% either aren’t or can’t be recycled. It’s estimated that globally between 1 and 2 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year, destroying plant and fish life and wrecking the ecosystems.

Plastic Free July is a global effort to highlight these facts and to reduce the amount of plastic we all use.

You may think that your effort, however great or small, won’t make a difference, but we’re here to assure you that it will.

By cutting down on buying a bottle of water every day, you’ll save 364 bottles; because the small changes make a huge difference. In 2022, we provided our workforce with reusable bottles and water fountains, ensuring they could cut down on the amounts used. We also make an effort to recycle everything (other than asbestos) in both our depot and on our sites.

In short, there’s lots we can all do to reduce plastic waste and make a difference:

  • Buying loose fruit and veg rather than wrapped items from the supermarkets – as well as using local suppliers such as Stoke-on-Trent Market Traders (ditto for meat from the butchers.)
  • Carrying a reusable shopping bag (think of how much you’ll save too!)
  • Carrying a reusable coffee cup and/or water bottle.
  • Buying boxed laundry powder rather than liquid in a bottle or tabs in a carton.
  • Avoid buying single use cleaning products – think about refillable bottles or even making your own.
  • Buying clothes made using natural fibres rather than man-made ones which produce microplastics.
  • Consider switching your sanitary products to reusable ones like moon-cups and plastic free alternatives.
  • Swap your plastic toothbrushes for bamboo. You can also buy plastic free toothpaste.
  • Swap shampoo and soap bottles for soap bars.
  • Ditch cling film for beeswax food covers (or make your own like these.)


Finally, you know we love a litter pick – so why not have a go yourself. Pick up what you see on the floor as you’re walking the dog, walking to work or even just to the car. If everyone in Stoke-on-Trent picked up three items of litter, there would be 768,300 fewer on the floor!

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