Surfers against Sewage aka Plastic Free Lymington - local young people paving our way 

“Aloha Plastic Free” environmental event by SAS Plastic Free Lymington Juniors  

plastic free lymington young building awareness 600

By Christine Spreiter who announced that after 18 months of campaigning, SAS Plastic Free Lymington was nearly at the accreditation stage.

SAS Plastic Free Lymington Juniors hosted a party for the community at Coffee Mongers Roasting Company on Sunday evening. Inspired by recent Youth Climate Strikes in Southampton, Amy Cook, Molly Pates, Ted Ward and Maddy Curry – year 10 students at Priestlands and Holly Ward- six form college student – have been meeting for months to organise a mini festival for the environment, mentored by Bournemouth DJ, Garphie Smith. It was great to see so many young people volunteering on the night, as the group has grown over time.

Live music kicked off with Spanish singer, Raquel tur Lillo, accompanied by Jake Black on guitar. Her beautiful singing easily captured the attention of the crowd, filling the evening with its bluesy richness. They were followed by a brilliantly energetic set from Interview,  a band from Southampton University led by Will Burton. Interview was recruited from the Southampton youth climate strikes and, like Jake &Raquel, they donated their time and talent to help support the cause. Interview performed their own material and covers from the Vaccines, Peach Pit and Pink Floyd amongst others.

An open mic “Speaker’s Corner” was an opportunity for people to share an aspect of their personal journey towards sustainability, thoughts on our future or the things that inspire them. We heard from school students, a renewable energy engineer, a doctor, a brewer, uni students, a Transition Lymington member and Max, the drummer from the band, showcasing the growing variety and strength of voices present in the environmental movement today. Food for thought for everyone.

This was planned as a zero waste event- everyone was asked to bring their own plate and cup. Pizzas were served by The New Forest Pizza Company, cooked to order on their wood fired trailer. The bar was provided by Pig Beer, a New Forest Marque brewery in Setley, brewing refreshing beer from hops grown on site. The youngters ran a Mocktail Bar running alongside, serving drinks made with home made fruit cordials from locally sourced fruit donated by Naked Jam of Sway and Warborne Farm. They used a borrowed soda stream and homegrown mint, so no single use plastics were used to create a variety of delicious drinks. Zero waste is the way to go for events now- there was no garbage created, very little mess to clear up, no resources wasted, and no cost – there were glasses available for those who forgot to bring their own - but nothing disposable.

The Eco Raffle featured stunning prizes donated by local artists and makers- the grand prizes being a gorgeous original painting of The Needles by Sway artist Jane Corner and an invitation for 2 for a sail on ‘Amelie Rose’, a wooden pilot cutter run by Clean Seas Odyssey.

plastic free lymington plastic 600Attendees were also invited to pin a pledge on the noticeboard- one thing they were prepared to change in their lives to make a difference to the environment. One person pledged to tackle the issue at her workplace where fizzy drinks are provided in plastic bottles every day, another decided he had used his last plastic shopping bag, another promised to cycle whenever it was possible for transport, another to stop eating fish due to the vast pollution of the oceans by ghost fishing gear. All small individual steps, but all indicative of a changing mindset in society and the realisation that many small acts together have a large impact.

Grass roots community led initiative to reduce single use plastic consumption in Lymington and surrounding areas

Christine Spreiter announced that after 18 months of campaigning, SAS Plastic Free Lymington was nearly at the accreditation stage – with just one tick left to complete by Lymington and Pennington Town Council before the five objectives set by Surfers Against Sewage (who run the Plastic Free Communities campaign) are achieved- evidencing a grass roots community led initiative to reduce single use plastic consumption in Lymington and surrounding areas. Once accredited, SAS Plastic Free Lymington volunteers will continue to sign up more local businesses as Plastic Free Champions, work with schools and councils and to hold events. To get involved please look on Facebook and Instagram @SASPlasticFreeLymington or call into Coffee Mongers and leave a message.

Thanks are due to so many people who contributed to make this event such a success and a credit to the community, including Pallet’s Café  of Beaulieu for the sound system, Brooke and Tarek of Coffee Mongers for hosting the event, and to all the musicians and speakers who made the evening come alive. The small team of young environmentalists who put all this together deserve credit for their positivity and determination to be part of the change for good. Watch this space!

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