16 June 2018 - Plastics action at Hanwell Carnival
We ran a stall at the Hanwell Carnival mainly on the plastic pollution campaign but also collecting pledges for the Heathrow anti-third runway campaign and raising some money for FOE by selling a range of eco-products. The books, the hand made soap and the clothes-washing soap nuts in muslin bags were particularly successful.
The interactive aspect was a huge draw to families as we had made a wearable Octopus trailing chains of tied-on plastic debris. The children were invited to earn a sticker by helping the sad Octopus and detaching a number of pieces. Then, with the help of their parents, choosing the correct box to deposit them in.
We focused on debating whether some items could be 'Refused' outright at point of purchase..eg; straws, cotton buds, plastic cutlery or 'Reused'..eg: food containers, bags, refillable ecover plastic bottles. Many didn't know that it was possible to take their plastic bags to recycle at supermarkets and many expressed their confusion at what can & what can't be recycled.
Sometimes a child might drop a bit of plastic & we were able to emphasize how important it is to chase after it & not let it become litter. Sometimes a group of children were so diligent at divesting the Octopus of all its debris that we had to surreptitiously choose our moments to retie the bits on...
I remember one comedic moment when one little girl twigged what was happening & was most indignant!! Another time,a little boy was so fascinated by the Octopus that he wanted to hold its tentacle & not let go!!
We also provided tables, chairs & tables for the kids to colour in outlines of marine animals so that the parents had time to peruse the literature & wares on our stall.
All in all, it was a very good outing for our spanking new gazebo and we managed to collect many supporters for our causes & provide much amusement to passers by. We were even filmed & interviewed by some young men compiling a feature for future advertising of the Hanwell Carnival.