Councillor pledges five simple actions to help reduce Wokingham’s single-use plastics

THEY say you should practise what you preach and for one newly-elected town councillor that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Cllr Daniel Hinton and his family have committed to taking five steps to reduce single-use plastics and has made that pledge public on the Facebook group Wokingham Borough Environmental Ideas.

The page has been set up in a bid to encourage the borough to be greener, and by sharing tips and ideas it will hopefully spur all residents to improve their carbon footprint.

Cllr Hinton, who was elected to Evendons ward for Wokingham Town Council in May, said that he would order milk in glass bottles from the milkman, switch to shampoo bars, use homemade cleaning products and use cotton wool or a flannel when at home and cleaning his baby.

He also vowed to stop buying plastic toys.

And to help others, he is pledging to collate ideas to a spreadsheet that will be easily accessible to anyone logging on to the Facebook group.

“The group seems to be taking off,” he said. “We’ve picked up 186 members in just over three weeks.

“Not every post has been positive, but most have been.”

He explained that although the group had initially been set up to explore what Wokingham Borough Council could do to improve its green credentials, it has quickly become an area where residents can pool ideas.

“It’s a great resource,” Cllr Hinton said.

“Everyone can have a look at their lifestyles – if everyone did one small change once a week or a month, it will soon start working towards a bigger goal. IT’s important to all our futures and it will leave the world a better place for our children.

“I decided to do the five things as a push forward for myself.”

And to help stock up on ethical cleaning products, he has been using the new Maya’s Refillables stall that has been running in Wokingham’s Market Place on Saturdays over the past few weeks. The stall encourages users to bring their empty plastic cleaning bottles to be refilled.

“She’s started with a great offer,” he said. “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”

One of the hardest things for the young dad is plastic toys and baby wipes.

“We’ve been moving away from baby wipes in the home, it’s not as easy away from it, but it’s making a big saving,” he explained.

And there are other ideas that his family are coming up with.

“We had a friend’s birthday at the weekend, we went to IKEA and bought a whole box of party plates, knives and forks. We used it, washed it and put it back in the box for next use,” he said.

“There are lots of different things that can be done – that’s the point of the group, that’s why it’s gone quite well.”

The group can be found by searching for “Wokingham Borough Environmental Ideas” on Facebook.

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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