Royston Environmental Group

Working towards a sustainable future

Plastic Free Royston

Single Use Plastics

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Single-use plastic is of increasing concern to us all. Plastic in our seas leads to animals ingesting or becoming entrapped by it.
It is also ugly.

Part of a larger initiative

For our initial project to improve the environment of Royston and beyond, we have joined a national initiative from Surfers Against Sewage to raise awareness of the amount of single-use plastic in our lives and environments. The scheme aims to reduce single-use plastic by replacing them with reusable alternatives or avoiding them altogether.

Transition Town Letchworth recently followed the scheme, which resulted in their certification as a Plastic-Free town. Many towns across the country are signing up as the public's understanding of the issues increases.

This doesn’t mean the entire town must be plastic free but there are relatively easy targets for businesses, schools and community groups, and the local council to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.

If every local business or group were to give up just one item of single use plastic this would make Royston and the world a better place!

Click this logo for more information.


Helping Royston achive plastic free status

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We are keen that in Royston we do all we can to help reduce the plastic problem and would love to see Royston achieve the ‘plastic free’ status offered by SAS. This does not mean 100% plastic free - which would not be possible anytime soon - but we can make big reductions in the amount that we consume. Letchworth and many other towns nationwide and often much larger than ours, have already achieved Plastic Free status and we hope to make Royston a Plastic Free community by the end of 2023.

Royston Town Council

The Royston Environmental Group is delighted to have received an endorsement from the Town Council following the unanimous vote to support our Plastic Free Royston initiative.

The Town Council already avoid the use of single-use plastic and committed to support the initiative that sends a strong signal to town’s businesses and residents, allowing the eventual certification of the town as a Plastic Free Community under the Surfers Against Sewage scheme.


Royston's Plastic Free Champions

The Royston Environmental Group is pleased to announce that we have been able to award Plastic Free Status to some of our local businesses.

To achieve this, each business was asked to nominate a number of everyday items they normally use which would no longer be plastic based. The list from each business was then submitted to the PlasticFree campaign for certification.

Plastic free status

We would love to see your local business achieving this status and getting your own award. You can nominate your business by completing the application and start your journey to Plastic Free Status today.

Apply to become a Plastic Free Champion

Plastic Free Champions Business Awards

Businesses in and around Royston have made a commitment to reduce or eliminate their reliance on single use plastics.

Among the first to receive their award certificates and plaques which let everyone know they are Plastic Free Champions are -

Adshots Digital Studio Ltd, Mounteagle, Royston
C4B Media Kiln House Yard, Royston
Looksmart Ltd in Lumen Road, Royston
Horsebox Coffee Shop in Priory Gardens, Royston
Kooky Nohmad in the High Street, Royston
Hush Skin and Beauty Kneesworth Street, Royston
Coconuts4U at “Homemade at the Barn”, Old North Road, Royston
Number 3, Melbourn Street, Royston


Adshots Digital Studio

We offer a high quality, reliable image retouching service to reach deadlines whenever possible. Our focus is on quality, but not at the expense of speed. Speed comes through experience and we have plenty of that!


C4B Media

Our team is made up of highly skilled professionals with the combined experience you would expect from any top marketing agency, but with the passion to lift us and our clients above the competition. Our aim is always to deliver high quality results that exceed our client’s expectations.


Horsebox Coffee Shop

Vintage Horsebox coffee shop with a stunning lever espresso machine available to hire for weddings, parties and all other events.



Kirsty's outlet at Home Made at the Barn sells products that aim to use upcycled materials such as coconut shells.


Number 3

Opening in 2015, No.3 Royston sells a wide range of yarn and haberdashery, as well as gifts that include those made by locals. We also run workshops and local craft fairs.


Kooky Nohmad

A flexible space designed to bring people together, whether it’s for a coffee catch up, brunch or a day at the “office”.


Hush Skin & Beauty

Hush Skin and Beauty is a boutique salon located in one of Royston's oldest areas. We are dedicated to delivering the finest beauty therapies.

Plastic Free Community Allies

The Plastic Free scheme is run locally by Royston Environmental Group and accredited by Surfers Against Sewage. Letchworth was the first Hertfordshire town to be accredited Plastic Free in 2019.

Other North Hertfordshire towns including Baldock, Buntingford and Hitchin are also working towards this status. In Royston we now have a number of Business Plastic Free Champions certified and have delivered plaques to them all - HOORAY!

We are now looking for Community Allies which could be community groups such as: Scouts and Guides troops, schools, venues, churches and non-profit organisations including places of interest and local publications. Please do get in touch with us if you are interested in signing up. Don’t panic, it's not at all complicated and we can talk you through it.

The Town Council have also agreed to support this initiative. In order to maintain Plastic Free status we need to hold two events per year and we are currently on track for this with our regular litter picks and Sustain-Ability festival plus various community-based projects such as the Tesco Community Garden and tree planting.

Quite simply, all Allies and Champions need to do is agree to remove THREE items of single use plastic from everyday use (retrospectively does count, so if you have already started the process that’s absolutely fine) and the Community Allies also need to agree to support the Royston Environmental Group and show that they are continuing to do that. Some evidence is required to send to Surfers Against Sewage.

We are very close to being accredited Plastic Free Town now and just need our Community Allies to step up and join in. Together we can do this!

Further information on what Plastic Free Allies and Champions need to do to qualify are here:

Becoming a Community Ally

If you are interested in becoming a Plastics Free Community Ally or would just like to know more about the scheme please complete the Questionnaire using this link

Apply to become a Plastic Free Ally

Community Allies who have signed up

A growing number of community based groups and orgainisations have signed up to become an Ally or have expressed an interest in doing so. Here are those who have signed up so far -

  • Royston First BID

  • Coombes Community Centre

  • Royston Leisure Centre

  • King James Academy

  • Royston Museum

  • Tentshare

  • Women’s Institute Evening Group

  • Royston Library

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Emma Canterbury with the museum's Community Ally pledge

Eliminating single-use plastics

Royston Environmental Group is keen to see Royston emiminate the avoidable use of single-use plastics. We know that this is not an easy thing to achieve, but every journey starts with the first step.

What can I do?

Every one of us can help make a difference. Some things are small and easy to achieve, others may need a larger commitment.

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 Plastic drinks bottles and cups

It’s easy to pick up bottles of water in the shops. They make carrying it around easy and can simply be thrown away when empty.

And that’s the problem! Even though they are recyclable, their portability can make that less easy to do, especially if there are no obvious recycling bins where you’re going.

Reusable bottles now come in all shapes and sizes and are commonly available in the high street.

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 Disposable coffee cups

Nearly everyone likes a good cup of coffee. The variety available is quite astonishing. Many high street coffee shops will serve your favourite hot drink in disposable cups.

Most of these contain an element of plastic, simply to contain the liquid, and most get thrown away after they’ve been used.

Reusable, insulated cups and mugs are now a good alternative, especially if they are sealable to keep hot drinks hot and safe to carry around.

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 Plastic food wrapping

Many national food retailers supply food in plastic wrapping. Some are attempting to reduce this but it is simply too convenient for them.

Most local food outlets, such as markets, supply goods as you request them rather than pre-packed. Where they do use packaging it is also more likely to be environmentally friendly.

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 Cosmetic products

There are some things which we all need, in the words of one famous series of adverts, for our “important little places”. Many, such as cotton buds, have become less dependednt on plastic in their manufacture.

Look for suppliers of those things which you just can’t live without to see if there are any making them without using plastics.

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 Reusable carrier bags

It is true that charging for plastic carrier bags at larger retail outlets has significantly reduced their use.

But there are still too many in circulation. And although bio-degradable plastic bags breakdown more quickly, they are still plastic.

You can help reduce their numbers further by taking your own bags with you when you go shopping. Canvas or cotton bags are a good reusable, washable alternative.

Recycling plastics

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Ideally, we should be aiming to reduce our dependence on plastic in everyday life. However, some is unavoidable and others just too convenient to stop using them without a good alternative being available.

There are recycling options for many types of plastic packaging. There are kerbside collections for some and facilities at some retailers for others. Here is s quick guide.

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Used in food and drink packaging

Recycled via kerbside collection

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Used in food and drink packaging

Recycled via kerbside collection

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Used in plastic carrier bags

Recycled at some major retail outlets 


It is possible to recycle more than these types but special facilities are needed to process the plastic. One of these facilities is provided by TerraCycle which has a collection point in Royston.

Some preparation is needed before dropping off at the collection point. This is to enable the most appropriate processing for the different types of plastic collected. Please be sure to get them organised before you leave home.

Local drop off points

  • Brown bin at 1, Stile Plantation, Royston, SG8 9HP

  • Blue bin at 29 Cheyney Street, Steeple Morden, SG8 0LR

  • Green Bin at Sarah’s Farm Shop, Steeple Morden, SG8 0PB

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How to prepare your TerraCycle recycling

Please separate your items into the following bubbles.

Any which are not separated will be treated as waste and not recycled. Anything not listed here cannot be recycled using this scheme. If in any doubt, please do not include it. Keep an eye on TerraCycle’s Facebook page for updates to the bubbles which can change from time to time.

Pringles tubes and seals

Warburton’s bread and wax wrappers

Disposable household gloves

Foreign and obsolete currency

All flexible plastic coffee packaging

Pens, markers, correction fluid and highlighters

Flexible dishwasher tablet and salt packaging, home cleaning wipe packs, cleaning product refill packs

Flexible cheese pouches and wrappers, cheese nets and plastic film from cheese slice packs

Crisp, nut, popcorn and pretzel packs 
Please flatten them and fold a pile of packets into another pack to make a “brick"

Floss containers, toothpaste tubes, caps, cartons, toothbrushes, heads and packaging

Bread and other bakery products flexible plastic packaging

Biscuit, cracker and cake wrappers (including mini cheddars and any Jacobs product)

Lipsticks, glosses and balms, mascara, highlighter and bronze sticks, eye shadow, compacts (emptied), facial cleansing wipe packs. plastic tubes for creams

Hand wash pumps and refill pouches

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Asthma Inhalers

Asthma sufferers who use inhalers as part of their treatment can recycle them at Addenbrokes Hospital.

There is are bins where you can deposit them at Clinic 2a (respiratory clinic) and at Clinic 6 (children’s clinic).

Click the button below for more information on the environmental impact of inhalers.

Inhalers and the environment
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