People from across Pembrokeshire have come together to coordinate going plastic-free.
PLANED’s Valuing the Environment Network hosted an event to bring together individuals, community groups, businesses and public bodies to discuss the wealth of activity already going on across the county and what more could be done. The event on the evening of 24th April saw over 50 people meet in the Regency Hall in Saundersfoot.
Pauline Davies, from Amroth and Saundersfoot Community Councils said: “It was great to see so many people come together and hear about the different activity already on across the County. I hope that hearing a bit about what we have already done and achieved in Amroth and Saundersfoot will help inspire people to do more. All Amroth businesses have signed up to the Clean Seas Pledge, committing to Turn the Tide on Plastic and reduce single use plastics over time. It would be great to see our kite mark rolled out across Pembrokeshire.”
The event explored what was already going on and what could happen next to coordinate and join up the plastic free activity in Pembrokeshire. Speakers included Peter Davies, who spoke about developing a Wales Clean Seas Partnership, Cllr Laurence Blackhall who spoke about the journey of Plastic-Free Tenby and Morag Embleton who shared her experience of Plastic-Free Aberporth- the first of its kind in Wales.
A plasticfree network could help coordinate activity, share experiences and learn from others who have gone plastic-free. Arwain Sir Benfro has also supported a project to raise awareness and change behaviours to reduce marine litter through a creating an iconic steel sculpture of a sea bass filled with plastic litter on the Amroth sea front. This is funded through the LEADER programme, which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, Funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Initially the sculpture will be placed in Amroth, but will be moving along the Coast Path communities across Pembrokeshire – with each community hosting it for two or three months. It will provide a highly visible reminder of the plastic pollution on our beaches and in the seas.
Arwain Sir Benfro is currently supporting project ideas from local community groups, organisations and businesses. As the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire, it brings together a mix of local community representatives, business, third sector, local authority partners.
Emyr John, LEADER Project Coordinator said: “We designed and are now implementing the Local Development Strategy for Pembrokeshire. The group is supporting projects which test new ideas that benefit the county and contribute to a competitive, productive and sustainable local economy. A plastic-free Pembrokeshire fits in with this and are keen to help support the next steps”
LEADER is supporting all kinds of activity: mentoring, training, feasibility studies or pilot projects that test an innovative new idea. It can also be used for projects that improve local skills, make better use of a local resource or realise the economic potential of part of the locality leading to a ‘new’ outcome or product.