NFCC supports Plastic Free Day

Plastic Free Day

NFCC will be supporting Plastic Free Day on 8 May 2018, which aims to raise awareness of how much disposable plastic we all use in our everyday lives.

The awareness day will takes place  today as it is David Attenborough’s birthday.  The idea came after an episode of Blue Planet that focussed on the damage that plastic is doing to our earth and inspired a group of people to take action.  

Government statistics show that only 45% of plastic packaging waste is recovered or recycled in the UK, which means that over 1.3 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste has to be disposed of every year along with huge quantities of other plastics.

Chief Fire Officer of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Nathan Travis, is the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC’s) Lead for Environment and Sustainability, said: “Plastic products are damaging our earth. Not only do they clog up our oceans and are hazardous to wildlife, but they also cause air pollution when they are burnt.

“Reducing the amount of plastic we use will improve our health, help our environment and help reduce waste fires which can be damaging in many ways.”

Angus Sangster, Senior Fire Engineering Manager at International Fire Consultants (IFC) and member of NFCC Waste Fires Group, agrees and said: “It is problematic to burn plastic packaging waste for energy due to emissions therefore most will go into landfill. Of the plastic that is sent for recycling much is rejected as contaminated. Plastic and indeed metal containers have to be clean and free from contamination to be recycled so always wash them before you put into recycling bins.

“In 2015 there were 499 waste fires reported in the UK. Waste fires have an impact on air quality and can affect drinking water in certain areas too. When we reduce the amount of waste we generate, especially plastic, we will reduce or even eliminate the damage caused by waste fires.”

Members of the public can help support Plastic Free Day by refusing single use plastic for 24 hours on 8 May. This could be done by:

  • Swapping to home milk deliveries in glass bottles
  • Swapping to a reusable water bottle
  • Using reusable shopping bags or cardboard boxes
  • Shopping at a green grocer
  • Choosing loose fresh products
  • Using brown paper bags
  • Using a thermal mug for coffee shop refills
  • Refusing to use a plastic straw
  • Choosing glass/cardboard packaging
  • Using refills
  • Shopping at the deli counter/butcher/fishmonger
  • Using beeswax paper coverings
  • Using reusable storage containers/lunchboxes


For more information on Plastic Free Day, please visit or search plastic free on Facebook and Twitter.


Back to news