Refill Not Landfill 2023: Pilot scheme paves the way for a plastic-free-bonfire

On 4th November, Green United in collaboration with Lewes Town Council and many local pubs, hosted a pilot scheme for a plastic free bonfire. 

The idea was proposed by the Green United Youth Board, to address the single-use plastic waste that results from the annual Lewes bonfire celebrations.

Each year 5-7 tonnes of waste are collected by the Environment First team at Lewes District Council after Bonfire night. 

Ophelia from Green United saidWe are asking our local Lewes pubs and the bonfire societies to switch to more sustainable alternatives such as reusable cups or compostable cups made from natural materials”.

Young people from Green United presented their Ask for the plastic free bonfire at their annual Big Ask meeting, which Lewes Town Council attended. The Council was inspired to act and decided to support the young people to make their idea become a reality. 

They set up a Task and Finish group who lead on creating the pilot study for the idea. The group met with the Environment First team from the Council, and the local Pubwatch group to discuss the proposal. 

As a result most Lewes pubs agreed to serve their customers in reusable cups on 4th November – one of their busiest nights of the year. 

The night was a great success and Green United hopes that this has now laid the groundwork for Lewes to host a completely single-use plastic free bonfire next year, which addresses not only single-use plastic cups, but also other sources of plastic waste such as single-use glow-in-the-dark wands. 

You can read more about Green United’s initial Big Ask for a plastic-free bonfire here. See Lewes Town Council’s press release on the joint pilot scheme here.

Watch this space!