A joint Barnaby Festival and Treacle Market-led initiative, 'Macc-tastic, Less Plastic', to help reduce plastic waste in Macclesfield, took place at the Barnaby Festival, with local MP, David Rutley, attending.
David, who is currently the interim Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, joined local residents at the well-attended ‘Macc-tastic’ event in St Michael's Churchyard on Sunday 24th June. The project, which is supported by Macclesfield Town Council, aims to promote simple and effective ways to help local residents and businesses discover more about how they can reduce single use plastic and reuse, recycle and upcycle to cut the amount of plastic making its way into landfill or rivers and oceans, as a result.
Pupils from Tytherington High School, as well as Headteacher, Manny Botwe, were on hand to give a presentation on the achievements of the school’s ‘Tythy Goes Green' student group, which has seen the school take forward plans to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic in use at the school. David was impressed to learn of the positive suggestions promoted by the young people present, particularly around school lunches, and their clear enthusiasm for taking forward further positive action in local communities.
At the all-day event, local experts gave talks and tips in everything from environmentally-friendly food and fashion choices, to recyclable nappies and composting food waste. Stalls were set up by the Macclesfield RSPB, local charity Cre8 (which ran a bike repair workshop), and Bee Friendly Macclesfield. In the 'Make, Mend, Fix' Marquee, there were family-friendly activities for all ages on how to upcycle and reuse items such as clothing, with help from local group Macctavist and haberdashery business Crafty Corner.
Visitors could also make a Plastic Pledge, to cut down on the amount of plastic in any way they chose, from swapping cling-film for waxed fabric foodwraps or not purchasing vegetables packaged in plastic, to help make Macclesfield a more sustainable town. Pledges were put inside a plastic bottle and added to a sculpture created by Anna Riordan, which will stay in the churchyard until mid-July.
The organisers see the event as a catalyst to bring together concerned residents and begin wider conversation across the town, building on work started by speaker Colin Townend who runs http://notjustonce.org/
Speaking after the event, David said, "I am delighted to support this important and timely initiative. As Macc-tastic, Less Plastic demonstrates, there are many changes we can all introduce in our lives to make a real difference and reduce the amount of plastic that we use. It is great to see to see the enthusiasm within the community, demonstrated by the excellent Tythy Goes Green project, for approaches to cut down on single-use plastic waste, and I will continue to work with local residents and community groups to take action to help to make our town a leader in plastic waste reduction."