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2019 - Year of the Environment


2019 - Year of the Environment

Press release 
08 January 2019 

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 centered on one or more of our five key themes:

  • Recycle - encourage residents to waste less and recycle more
  • Clean - keep Ashford clean by tackling litter and encouraging residents to get involved with volunteer schemes
  • Grow - encourage residents to grow fruit and veg on our allotment sites or buy locally produced food
  • Nature - encourage residents to use parks and open spaces in the borough whilst encouraging wildlife and biodiversity
  • Air - encourage residents to use active transport to reduce pollution and improve health and well-being

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 are 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.

- ENDS -

Notes for editors

National performance statistics for 2017/18 released by Defra show that Ashford retains its spot at the top of the table for both highest percentage of household waste recycled and composted, and for the lowest residual waste tonnages per household.

Nationwide, Ashford is now 27thin the country for recycling - a huge jump up from 35th place last year - and 10thfor the amount of residual waste produced per household, which is an incredible achievement.

Recycling stats

You can follow our Year of the Environment developments on all of our social media channels:

Facebook @AshfordBoroughCouncil
Twitter @AshfordCouncil
Instagram @ashfor  

For more information contact:

Darren Laws
Public relations issued on behalf of Ashford Borough Council 
Tel: 012634671167


Twitter: @AshfordCouncil

Facebook: @AshfordBoroughCouncil

Instagram: ashfordbc