A TOWN that has taken steps to reduce its plastic use and lessen its impact on the environment has been awarded for its efforts.

Llangollen has joined a network of communities across the UK who are leading the way on tackling throw-away plastics after being awarded Plastic Free Community status by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), one of the UK’s leading grassroots movements against marine plastic pollution.

A plastic free campaign was launched in the town earlier this year by Mair Davies, from Llangollen and chair of Plastic Free Llangollen (PFL), after she started her own journey to reduce plastic waste.

The PFL campaign, following advice from SAS, currently has 10 businesses signed up to its action plan to reduce their plastic use, four of which are plastic free, and has gained the support of Llangollen Town Council, who passed a motion to reduce their plastic use in the autumn.

PFL has also visited schools to discuss the negative consequences of plastic waste with pupils.


Mrs Davies with Peter and Lesley Carol from Pro Adventures

Mrs Davies said: “The whole campaign has been a very positive experience, it has been a joy to see the community come together with a shared wish to do their bit.

“There has been a wide variety of ways that businesses have pledged to do to reduce plastic use, from Ditching the straw, changing to paper bags, bulk buying, refilling containers, removing single serve items, ditching plastic cutlery and removal of plastic packaging.”

Mrs Davies registered with the SAS’s Plastic Free Communities movement, which aims to unite communities to tackle avoidable plastic, from the beach all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it.

The campaign asks businesses and organisations to agree to its action plan, which has been signed by plastic free businesses Courtyard Cafe, Pro Adventures, Station Cafe and Oak Street Coffee.

It has also been signed by Gwyn Davies Butcher's, Porters Delicatessen, Zingiber, Llangollen Oggie Shop, Dee Valley Produce and Llanvalley Natural Products.


Mrs Davies with Station Cafe's Ryan Taylor

Mrs Davies continued: “There have been a wide variety of events in Llangollen to help reduce plastic in the town, from Coffee Mornings to Litter picks and group talks to help empower people to make the change.

“It has been so nice to see how unifying this issue has been and how it affects all areas within the town, from the Town Council, Cittislow Llangollen, Chamber of Trade, the local schools and the numerous community groups in the area.

“We couldn’t be more elated at getting plastic free status for the town and being the first town in Denbighshire to get this award. Together we have made great strides to help safeguard nature and the beauty within this beautiful town, but more can be done, of course Llangollen isn’t completely Plastic Free, but this is recognition of the steps that the community has already made to help reduce the negative impact of plastic.”


Mrs Davies with Bob Meirion Jones, owner of Oak Street Coffee

The campaign has gained the support of AM for North Wales, Llyr Gruffydd, who praised PFL and Mrs Davies at the Sennedd on December 12.

Rachel Yates, Plastic Free Communities Project Officer at Surfers Against Sewage, said: “It’s great to see the work that Llangollen has done to reduce the availability of avoidable plastics, raise awareness and encourage people to refill and reuse.

“We now have almost four hundred communities across the UK working to reduce single use plastic and the impact it has on our environment. Every step those communities and the individuals in them take is a step to tackle the problem at source, challenging our throwaway culture and encouraging the habit changes we need to see.”

For more information or to contact Plastic Free Llangollen visit their Facebook page.