A DENBIGHSHIRE town has been awarded 'Plastic Free Communities' status for the action it has taken against singe-use plastic.

Ruthin has now joined a network of communities across the UK who are leading the way to tackle throw away plastic.

The town has been awarded Plastic Free Community status by marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in recognition of the work it has done to start reducing the impact of single-use plastic on the environment.

Locals Mair Davies & Nia Baker (Plastic Free Rhuthun leads) started the campaign two years ago when they got together with other residents to start up the Friends of the Earth Rhuthun Group.

Both women joined forces on this project because they wanted to see 'a better and brighter future' for their children and with their ties to the local farming community, they have developed their already strong affinity for nature and this fuelled the need to do more to safeguard the local environment.

Registering with the SAS Plastic Free Communities movement, Mair and Nia pulled together key organisations and businesses in the town to put in place a five-point plan.

The objectives include; setting up a community led steering group, instigating the SAS Plastic Free Schools education programme and getting local council commitment and working with local businesses, organisations and community groups to spread the word.

Mair says: “What started out as a selection of strangers chatting on a local facebook page has turned out to be a great space for people to come together and collaborate on several environmental, waste reduction and recycling projects. I have been truly inspired and uplifted by the collaboration and coming together of so many sectors in our community”

The following ten businesses have all been awarded plastic free business awards for reducing at least three single use plastic items from their business: Manorhaus, Marinas Italian Cookery, Naturally Ethical, The Bakehouse, The Centre, Rhuthun Wholefoods, Aydins Traditional fish and chips, State of Distress , Chilly Cow and The Old Rectory.

Additionally, with the support of the Denbighshire County Councils – ‘Plastic Reduction’ steering group, the Group has engaged with local schools, including Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ysgol Pen Barras and Ysgol Rhos Street, to help raise awareness of the need for plastic reduction.

The Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Community network aims to free the places where we live from single-use plastic. Using the five point plan the aim is to empower communities to kick start local grassroots action, which can then be built upon.

Rachel Yates, SAS Plastic Free Communities Project Manager, said: “It’s great to see the work that Rhuthun has done to reduce the availability of avoidable plastics, raise awareness and encourage people to refill and reuse.

"We have over six 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 towards tackling the problem at source, challenging our throwaway culture and encouraging the habit and system changes we need to see.”