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Ashford community strive to be more eco-friendly

Ashford Borough Council are striving to make 2019 their ‘Year of the Environment’.

Following the Government’s 25 year plan to safeguard the environment, published in January, Ashford Council have teamed up with the local community to tackle environmental issues such as un-recyclable plastics.

The Council’s Waste and Recycling Education Officer, Amy Casey, said:

“We decided to take the initiative and put together a whole plan for next year consisting of different events, campaigns and promotions.”

The plan includes a range of activities such as tree planting, collaborations with Ashford College art students and competitions for primary and secondary schools relating to the landscaping of their school grounds.

Members of the community are also taking part in the Council’s collaboration with the ‘Bare Bazaar’ and ‘Made in Ashford’ stores in the town. The project’s aim is to create thought-provoking art using ‘eco-bricks’ which are building blocks created by packing used plastic into a bottle.

Owner of Bare Bazaar, Kati Ramsden, said: “We are making a piece of public art to raise awareness of plastic pollution.

“We are also working on a piece of public art that will be displayed in Ashford town centre to create a talking point around unrecyclable plastics.”

Casey said the project was a good eye-opener for people to genuinely see how much waste they produce. She added:

“Sometimes the concept is quite hard to grasp as it can often be quite an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality, but when you’re asked to start collecting your own waste rather than throw it away you do appreciate just how much one person or one family creates.”

She added: “It’s giving this plastic a second purpose – especially as the majority of it is single-use plastic.”

Ashford Resident, Amy Walters, is currently taking part in the ‘Ecobricks’ project. She said: “I think it’s really important to reduce what we’re using so I try as much as possible to reduce the plastic by using bamboo toothbrushes and things.”

Bare Bazaar’s Kati Ramsden also expressed her motivation for the initiative, describing the prominence of single-use plastics as “a disgrace”.

The project will continue until enough recyclable materials have been collected and the ‘Re(F)use’ meetings are held on Friday mornings in both the Bare Bazaar and Made in Ashford Store.,0.8689003,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x47dedb85ddd44469:0x85bf2f77c3165fdf!8m2!3d51.1501112!4d0.871089