2019: the Year of the Environment
In the aftermath of the BBC documentary Blue Planet 2, the UK experienced what was coined ‘the David Attenborough effect’. Public awareness of actions relating to plastic usage and the consequences they have for the planet came to the fore. Plastic was in the news frequently, select coffee shops started charging for disposable cups and bars and pubs started switching to paper straws.
In January last year, the government published their 25 Year Environment Plan, setting out the goals for an improved environment - committing to being the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. With this, 2019 has been officially titled the ‘Year of the Environment’ or the ‘Year of Green Action’.
This year will be a demonstration that together we can improve the environment through collective action. It provides an opportunity to generate momentum, as we see more people from all backgrounds taking action to improve the planet.
As the top recycler in the Kent county, Ashford Borough Council is very excited to be delivering various events, campaigns and initiatives throughout the year to support these causes and promote the environment. Our aim is to have Ashford connect, protect and enhance the environment. Each event will be centred on one or more of our five key themes:
2018 was a great year, with Ashford reaching 27th in the country, out of 350, for recycling rates and topping the Kent local authority league for a fourth year in a row.
Cllr Clair Bell, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Land Management, said: “Ashford’s recycling success is certainly something to be proud of and we could not have achieved these fantastic results without our residents’ ongoing support and enthusiasm. Ashford residents are doing a tremendous job at recycling, but it is very important that we work hard to maintain, and where possible, improve this level.
“In 2019 we intend to focus on reinforcing the message about recycling further with a strong programme of campaigns to ensure we’re continuing to strive for improvements wherever possible.”
Lots more events and campaigns will be taking place throughout the year, including a collaboration with Ashford College, various school competitions and a big plastic campaign in summer – keep an eye out on our social media channels for all the latest announcements.