2021 campaign news - an update for groups

By Bleddyn Lake
Campaigns and Development Manager
Friends of the Earth Cymru

Waste and plastics

2021 has been a good year for action on waste and plastics.

Early 2021 saw FOE Cymru campaigning to stop a huge new incinerator in Newport, where there were plans to convert the old Uskmouth B power station to a plant that burns plastic pellets.

Working with others, we were able to get the Welsh Government to step in at the 11th hour to stop Newport Council Planning Committee giving the scheme the go ahead. We then asked Welsh Government to call in the application which they have done. Given the news below, there is no way it can now go ahead. 

In March, Welsh Government published its Beyond Recycling strategy which contained a lot of good plans, actions and targets.  You can read our response here . We were particularly pleased to see WG had finally taken on board our arguments against incineration and had issued an immediate moratorium on any new large incinerators.

FOE Cymru is proud to have worked for decades alongside community groups fighting incinerator plans. All the hard work by everyone involved has finally paid off!  

Following Beyond Recycling came a consultation on litter and fly tipping. Of course, taking action to limit single use throwaway plastics (food and beverage packaging for example) will also reduce the amount of litter. You can see our response here

 

Divestment

In February, FOE joined with Platform to publish the results of Freedom of Information requests regarding local authority pension funds (LAPFs).

Figures show that the 8 Welsh LAPFs still have around £500million invested in fossil fuel companies although this was a 50% drop on similar figures a few years ago when we launched our campaign. So, our campaign is working but more is still needed.  Swansea FOE have also been lobbying hard in their area on divestment and the pension fund recently announced further plans to move away from fossil fuels. 

 

Sustainable fashion

In other news, we brought together a coalition of like-minded groups around the issue of sustainable fashion and textiles a while ago.

In November, the group launched a Green Friday campaign to persuade people not to indulge in unsustainable shopping on Black Friday and to either buy nothing or to support local sustainable producers instead.  

 

Volunteer news

Our small team of volunteers have also had a busy year with Chamodi and Bianca producing interesting blogs, Sion, Remi and Rachel working on divestment, Hannah and Sophie working on sustainable fashion and Briony helping with our communications.  

Another one of our volunteers, Joe Cooke (also a professional cricketer with Glamorgan) has been tackling industrial emissions and a campaign to get supermarkets to put doors on their fridges.

In his capacity as a pro-cricketer, Joe was also invited to the COP26 talks to talk about the role sports and sports stars have in tackling climate change.  

 

A big thank you!

A massive shout and thanks to all our fantastic volunteers for all their drive, commitment, help and enthusiasm. We really couldn’t do it all without them and of course all of you in our local groups and CAGs. You are all amazing! Thank you. 

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