Meet Claire Hill, the Winchmore Hill mum-of-three on a mission to make N21 a plastic-free zone.
One of our key wants here at Better Streets is cleaner, greener streets, so we were keen to catch up with Hill, a pioneering eco-warrior who’s passionate about pollution and clean air – and who’s aiming to make Winchmore Hill Enfield’s first plastic-free postcode.
Better Streets committee member Maggie asked a few questions:
What inspired you to try to eradicate single-use plastic from your neighbourhood?
I read Geography at university and have always been passionate about environmental issues. Last summer I went on holiday to Italy and within five minutes had fished numerous pieces of plastic from the sea. I was horrified to see people swimming around plastic like it was normal. Blue Planet 2 and the national action that has followed has raised the issue of plastic in the environment and so it feels like a good time to build on this.
Tell us what you’re doing at Sainsbury’s this weekend…
Yes, please join me! This Saturday (14 April), at 2pm, a group of us are politely returning all the single-use plastic we’ve accumulated from the Sainsbury’s store in Winchmore Hill, with a letter to the manager, to make a very visible statement about supermarket packaging. This is part of a monthly national initiative organised through the Facebook group #notourplasticproblem.
How else can we reduce plastic waste in the borough?
Big changes can start at the local level. There is so much we can do individually and as a community to tackle this problem. Buy reusable bottles for water and hot drinks, take reusable bags for local shopping as well as those big supermarket shops and choose natural fibres when buying new clothes. Synthetic fibres create micro-fibre pollution. Also, say no to plastic straws and buy wooden toothbrushes. Some shops are now offering a discount if you bring a reusable cup. I’d love to see this offered locally and for Winchmore Hill to become a plastic bag free zone.
How else can we improve our local environment?
I think we need to take action now on many environmental issues. I am very concerned about air pollution in Enfield – so the bike lanes are a great start in hopefully encouraging people to cycle rather than drive short journeys. I would also love to see even more street trees planted across the borough. The loss of front gardens to car parking, and the placement of utility access boxes, are a real threat to the street tree. Some of the most beautiful streets in London have one thing in common: beautiful trees. And they help our lungs.
What do your kids think about your campaigning?
They are totally behind me. They are real nature lovers and notice plastic litter everywhere. My eldest son said, ‘Mum, I’m really proud of what you’re doing.’
For more ideas and inspiration on what you can do at a local level, visit:
For more information on where your rubbish and recycling goes, visit:
Find out more about what Enfield council are doing to reduce plastic pollution: