Local residents John Franklin and Karen Shergold have been announced as the first winners of the Colchester Plastic Pledge competition, scooping reusable bottles and bags as prizes.
The winners, like many other residents, have made pledges to reduce their use of plastics. The two winners, who were selected at random by the council, received their reusable bottles and bags donated by Colchester Museums and Colchester Market.
The Colchester Plastic Pledge campaign launched by Colchester Borough Council in October aims to actively encourage residents and other local organisations to be plastic aware.
Cllr. David King, Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “The message to me from Sir David was ‘Good luck in your battle to combat plastic waste’. He encourages us all to respond to the impact of plastics on our environment, animal and sea life – and the risks to human health.
“It was fantastic to receive that message of support, and it drove me to seek the support of this council and our residents. I thank them, those who are thinking harder about plastics, those signing the Pledge or changing what they do.”
In the first weeks of the campaign the council has reported around 100 residents have submitted a Colchester Plastic Pledge with the two most popular pledges being made to use reusable bottles and stop using plastic straws.
Residents have also created their own pledges, many relating to buying habits and highlighting a desire for organisations to stop using and providing single-use plastics to their customers.
Accepting his prize, Mile End resident, John Franklin said: “Walking down streets in Colchester, you constantly see rubbish, plastic straws, cigarette butts, chewing gum and more. We need more appropriate bins on our roads, not just in the town centre, but down our main roads at places where there is high presence of people.
“Pledging to Colchester’s single use plastic reduction is only one step, it was great to receive the prize for my involvement. Colchester can, and must play its part and I would love for Colchester to become a leader in resolving this issue.”
Cllr. Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, said: “Having made our own pledge as an organisation to phase out our use of single-use plastics, I’m delighted that residents like John and Karen are engaging with the campaign and making their own pledges too. By pledging to make a change, together we can all help reduce plastic pollution and help the environment.”
Any resident wanting to make their pledge to reduce their use of plastics can do so on the Counil’s website.
Two further competition prize draws will take place before the end of January 2019.