Celebrating the easing of the Covid -19 lockdown

Since December 2019, Eastbourne has been a Plastic Free Community. Eastbourne Borough Council is fully supportive of this status.

We want to encourage all communities to hold celebrations should you wish to, once this pandemic has allowed us all to mingle in our local groups and we are permitted to gather once again in our communities.

Our town has the cleanest air for a long time. Our wildlife is enjoying the lowest levels of pollution in their habitats for decades. We can hear birdsong and nature in clear conditions. Our streets and open spaces are as free of litter as ever before.

We would like to retain these conditions now. One big way of doing so is to make sure wherever possible that these joyful celebrations must be single-use plastic free. Examples of such a sustainable standard are no *balloons, *plastic single-use water bottles, *clingfilm or *plastic cutlery; also no *mass releases of balloons or *lighted lanterns.

Instead, we should try to celebrate like we saw people doing in the newsreels during VE Day in 1945. Not one balloon was visible and yet, they were obviously having a great time!

In this way, we are suggesting alternatives for you: ~planting a tree communally, ribbon dancers; banners and streamers; kites and spinners; tissue paper pompoms; light a candle; drumming; seed bombs. Of course, all of these materials should be plastic free, made from recycled materials, or are for more than one use. Hygienic packaging of food and drink should use either washable and reusable materials, such as plastic reusable boxes with lids like Tupperware or IKEA lids. Alternatively, products should be chosen.

We would like to build on the great work which we as a town have done together to reduce single-use plastic already. We have the reputation for being at the forefront of developing a Plastic Free Community. If we all agree, we can take our campaign up to the next level and contribute greatly to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.