https://communityinterestcompanies.blog.gov.uk/2019/07/26/combatting-single-use-plastics-how-anti-plastic-people-cic-do-it/

Combatting single use plastics – How Anti-Plastic People CIC do it

Drive for change

Anti-Plastic People was founded as a non-profit community interest company in July 2017. It has since garnered enquiries from citizens around the globe. These citizens are frustrated with single-use plastic (SUP) polluting their environment and asking what they can do to help.

Diver collecting plastic underwater

Bringing people together, to accelerate action on the SUP epidemic, is paramount as it is consumers that dictate what corporations sell. The power is in the hands of our communities, and it is people coming together that will drive change.

Our 360° strategy includes:

  • selling sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic products
  • business consultancy
  • researching waste management systems
  • developing initiatives

Collected plastic bottles gathered on the ground

In the Drink – a sneak peek

Within five months of launching on social media and making new contacts in the environmental space we joined forces to set up a new initiative. We joined forces with Active360 (a stand-up paddle boarding company with an environmental ethos), Thames 21 (a river conservation charity) and Alison Baker (of Ally Bee) to launch In The Drink.

In The Drink is a non-profit initiative. The initiative sets out to reduce single-use plastic in waterways caused by riverside bars, boat operators and events.

A swan standing on the bank of a river with plastic cups in close view

With funding from WRAP’s Litter innovation Fund, our pilot scheme targeted 164 bars, from Thames Ditton to Gravesend. Opening conversations began with 66% of those contacted. We also began conversations with boat operators, breweries and Thameside BID organisations.

In The Drink introduces suppliers of reusable polycarbonate, polypropylene and stainless steel cups to bars as an alternative for days when glass is not a viable option (encouraging a deposit return scheme). We have also put together Plastic Free Checklists for venues and event holders.

Earlier this year, In The Drink worked with Positively Putney. Positively Putney is a BID organisation, who invested in 14,000 reusable plastic cups to be shared among eight pubs at this year’s annual Boat Race Day. They gained national press interest for the initiative, including BBC London News. They were also runners up in the ATCM Town and City Management Industry awards 2019 for the reusable cups in the 'Best Environment Contribution'.

Working on a collaborative scheme has been beneficial to Anti-Plastic People in its infancy. We have now co-founded In The Drink UK as a CIC in its own right.

You can find further information about the 'In The Drink' initiative here.

The future for Anti-Plastic People

The main focus for Anti-Plastic People is the launch of our new community website (‘your number 1 resource for action against single-use plastic’) where people can:

  • sign up, join or create an action group in their area
  • create or check forums
  • view the online directory for business services, zero waste stores and plastic-free dining experiences

There is also a news and features section, and we’ll be launching our own product range online, including:

  • reusable shopping bags
  • water bottles
  • coffee cups
  • flasks

Exemplified amount of plastic dumped shown in a display

As a CIC limited by guarantee, profit from sales will fund our ongoing work towards a total ban on single-use plastic in the consumer environment. This is a mission best served as a community interest company.

You can find further information about the work we’re doing to end the use of single plastics by visiting the Anti-Plastic People CIC's website

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