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Plastic Action Champions and volunteering

Are you a Plastic Action Champion?

Few of us will have failed to notice the problems plastics cause for our environment and ecosystems when they escape into nature particularly in coastal communities like ours and we know there are already many in our community taking action to avoid single use plastics in their own lives and / or taking part in community efforts to remove litter from the environment – but we want to enable even more action!

Want to join us?

We want to hear from individuals and groups who are passionate about the need to tackle the impacts of plastics and who want to become ambassadors for the plastic action cause by becoming Plastic Action Champions.

Plastic Action Champions

Fabulous Plastic Action Champions after a long, hard litter pick in Felixstowe in 2018

What is a Plastic Action Champion Volunteer?

A plastic action champion is a volunteer worker who:

  • wants to stop plastic misuse, who wants to stop it getting into nature and causing harm and who does not like to see waste.
  • is already taking or is willing to take action in their own life.
  • likes other people enough to engage others in a friendly positive way and knows or is willing to learn when to walk away and let enforcement action by someone else take the place of engagement without getting angry or disheartened.
  • is willing to try to make action on waste fun whilst recognising the serious need to act.

Volunteers are provided with a Plastic Action Handbook which is specifically designed for people who live or work in Suffolk to help them share messages and take action that works 

in our area. It is a reference guide for those who will help others take action to reduce unnecessary uses of plastic, recycle effectively and engage others in keeping their community clean.

In return for the resources and training we provide we ask that you attempt to volunteer as a plastic action champion in your local community for at least 20 hours.

What does it involve?

Broadly speaking it is about using any position that you have or networks that you are part of as an opportunity to engage others in action and to recruit further Plastic Action Champions. That said the scheme is fully flexible and how you actually use those 20 hours is entirely up to you, though it could include the following examples:

  • Organising and running as many community litter picks as you want during the year – if you want to incorporate litter surveys and / or record and submit reports even better!
  • Looking at what local groups are in your area and if appropriate offering to give a presentation and/or attend an event and/or help organise a plastic action event.
  • Talking to local shops and cafes when you use them and complimenting them on changes made and gently encouraging further action. If they report obstacles to action, communicating these back to us to see if solutions can be found.
  • Writing or sharing articles for the Greenprint Forum newsletter about plastic action that people can take.
  • Supporting one or two events outside of your area if you are free and if the Coordinator invites you to – this could be by taking a stall, helping set up and meet and greet people and/or by taking minutes.
plastic action champions 2

Plastic Action Champions engaging with families at Art of the Prom in 2018 – Litter Fishing Game, Pebble Art, and Reuse Craft activities

We do ask that volunteers:

  • Submit a summary once a year of all of the plastic action activities you have undertaken to help us to publicise the good work of the volunteers and motivate and inspire others.
  • Take part in any knowledge share opportunities, which will be delivered online, in person or in the form of visits – where they can’t attend briefing notes will be sent to the volunteers to read at their convenience.

Also if they haven’t already done so, volunteers are encouraged to join the Greenprint Forum to receive regular updates and opportunities relating to broader community environmental initiatives in East Suffolk. Joining the Greenprint Forum is free and carries no additional obligation.

If this sounds like you, you can register online here. Alternatively if you just want to find out more about Plastic Action Champions please email greenissues@eastsuffolk.gov.uk