PICKMERE Against Plastic is seeking the public’s support as it steps up its campaign in a bid to seek accreditation as a plastic-free community.

“We have launched a campaign to reduce our plastic output and need everybody to be involved,” said Helen Shaul from the group.

“We are hoping to become contagious and infect surrounding villages with our desire for a cleaner, greener lifestyle.

“So, having run the Pickmere Against Plastic campaign for a year, we have decided to raise our game and go for accreditation as a plastic-free community.

“Currently about 50 communities, large and small, have achieved this accreditation and a further 500 are working towards it in the UK. We have been working towards this goal for three months.”

To achieve plastic-free accreditation the campaign has formed a steering group and gained the support of the parish council.

It is seeking the backing of local businesses, and has its first 'community champion', The Pickmere Country House Hotel, which has replaced many single-use plastic items with sustainable alternatives.

The group is also seeking to organise plastic-free rallies, including a fundraiser, and is starting with The Great Big PAP Pickmere Clean Up, a clean-up day for Pickmere on June 2 supported by The Red Lion Pub.

The group is meeting in the pub at 10am, and has several other events planned.

Helen added: “We buy it, take it home and use it once and throw it away without a second thought. Hundreds of years later that plastic is still around.

“We’ve all seen the news, the distressed animals, the toxic oceans; we are slowly killing the planet and ultimately ourselves.

“Has the time come to start thinking about what we buy and throw away, or will a planet ruined by plastic pollution be our legacy?

“Nine out of 10 rivers in Britain are choked with plastic – all of it heading for the sea.

“Nationally, only 30 per cent of plastic we throw away is recycled. The rest ends up in landfill or in the sea.

“A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute, and the number will jump another 20 per cent by 2021.

“Many plastics are toxic, yet we are using them to cook, eat, drink and feed our kids.”

People can follow the group’s Facebook page, Pickmere Against Plastic.