Transition Woodbridge and the Greenprint Forum were once again astounded by the turn out to watch A Plastic Tide on Friday 2nd February, reached over 90 people. The Salvation Army Hall was full of people filled with passion and itching to do something about the Plastic Tide we see locally.

Hosted for free by Transition Woodbridge, with support from the Greenprint Forum, A Plastic Tide – a documentary released by Sky News in 2017, explained the significance of the increase in single-use plastics and micro-plastics found in our rivers, seas and oceans.

Single- use plastics are those which are thrown out within a year of production, many used only for seconds (straws, plastic bags, cotton buds, baby wipes – yes these are made of plastic!)

Many of these, we are informed, end up in our rivers and oceans through drains on our streets. The litter we drop gets washed into the drains, over-flows into our local rivers and is washed out to sea, where over many years it breaks down into “micro-plastics”. These are tiny bits of plastic that never go away! They are less than 5 mm and are eaten by plankton, fish, birds, turtles and now, we are just starting to understand – being eaten by us!

A Plastic Tide, although quite shocking at times, is also inspirational. It introduces us to people determined to make a change in attitudes to single-use plastic and determined to clean up the mess we are in – not just for wildlife’s benefit  but for our own and for the next generation.

From the turn out on the evening and the discussions after the film, it seems Woodbridge is ready to make the change.

After the film, inspirational talks were given from local shop owners that have been wise to the issue and are selling plastic-free-products. Jules Button from the Woodbridge Emporium and an expert on tea, informed us about the benefits of loose-leaf tea drinking compared to tea bags which contain plastic – both within the bags themselves and in the glue that is used to seal them . Tea drinkers may want to go and talk to Jules and try out loose-leaf tea.

 Claire Hindmarch, owner of the Rainbow Apothecary, knowledgeably informed us about the micro-plastics found in many cosmetics, particularly exfoliants and even toothpaste. She has a wonderful range of plastic free cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and also washing up liquid and again is well worth a visit to find out more.

Poppy’s Pantry, Melton, also displayed a whole range of plastic free household goods and can help anyone on a mission to de-plastic their home.

Carol Steptoe then informed us of an event that we can all get active with “The Great British Spring Clean will be happening on 2nd, 3rd and 4th of March. Transition Woodbridge are working with Woodbridge WI groups and Suffolk Norse to organise this. If you would like to help smarten up our town and help save our seas, please join one of our litter picking events that weekend, equipment will be provided. Please contact springcleanwoodbridge@gmail.com for more details”.

If anyone would like to watch the film, it is available for free on You Tube!

A Plastic Tide makes it clear that it is time for a paradigm shift. The audience made it clear they were ready to make it happen in Woodbridge. Let’s do it!