Longton Market traders have pledged their support to Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s stand against disposable plastic items.
After a package-free stall opened in the market last year, traders and council staff were inspired to implement new initiatives to further promote recycling in the surrounding area.
Since July, a unit in the market has turned into a TerraCycle recycling area, where hard to recycle items such as crisp packets, oral care and home hygiene products can all be disposed of. These items are recycled into items such as picnic tables and children’s playground equipment by TerraCycle. The Donna Louise Trust will also benefit from the scheme as each bundle that is sent to TerraCycle from the market will earn points which can be redeemed for charitable donations.
Traders are also encouraging shoppers to bring their own containers to take unwrapped produce purchased at the market home in, rather than using plastic bags. With the cafes also happy for shoppers to bring in reusable cups when buying hot drinks.
Jen Morgan, owner of the Life Unwrapped stall at the market, whose stall is a package-free shop that provides toiletries, food items, information and support to help people create a more sustainable life, said: “I opened the stall in October 2018 with the mission to lead the way locally in providing a place for people to shop in a more sustainable and ethical way.
“I encourage our customers to refuse carrier bags, bring their own tubs and bags and recycle what they can.
“It’s important to me to reduce plastic because of the effects it’s having on our environment both directly and indirectly.”
A further eco-friendly initiative will start at the market in October. The market is joining the nationwide Refill campaign, which makes it easier to reuse your water bottle, by making water refill stations available for shoppers.
Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for the environment said: “We as a council are committed to reducing single-use plastic usage and to recycle where possible; as it’s important we take steps to protect our planet.
“The initiatives the market and its traders have put in place to reduce waste are all brilliant models that hopefully more of our markets will now set up following on from the success here at Longton.
“We are continuing to work towards being a single-use plastic-free council by 2023.”