Plastic bottles

Plastic Free Thanet aims to stop single-use plastic on our streets and beaches. We'll do this through collaborating with Thanet District Council, local businesses and community groups as well as joining with campaigns including Surfers Against Sewage, Rise Up Clean Up and Plastic Free July.

Rise Up Clean Up logo
Single use is no use - plastic in the sea image

Plastic Free Thanet

Single-use plastic is a huge environmental problem and nowhere is this more apparent than along our coastlines.

In Margate alone, litter picking action group Rise Up, Clean Up removed 3000kg of plastic waste and rubbish from our beaches over a year and a report from Thanet District Council's coastal waste review working party showed that clean up efforts costing £186,000 in 2021 were still not enough to stem the tide of waste. COVID-19 hasn't helped either - worldwide, single-use plastic consumption went up by 250-300% during the pandemic.

"Cleaning up isn't enough to solve the problem. We need to turn off the plastic tap."

Plastic is difficult to recycle (only about 9% of plastic actually gets recycled), ends up in our waterways, harms wildlife and damages our own health. It's also a large and growing contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming our planet, leading to extreme weather and rising ocean levels.

Cleaning up isn't enough to solve the problem. We need to turn off the plastic tap. This starts with individuals refusing single-use plastic and businesses providing alternative products and services (what the latest IPCC report calls 'demand-side' mitigation).

Plastic Free Thanet is a campaign launching in July 2022 to reduce single-use plastic across Thanet, working with local businesses and community groups. We're using the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities model to bring everyone on board.

Reducing the amount of plastic we use is a tangible action individuals and businesses can take and a powerful way to engage people in conversations on this, and wider environmental issues. As well as helping to keep Thanet's beaches and waterways cleaner this summer, we hope the campaign will raise environmental awareness and increase environmental action among businesses and individuals.

We see the potential for Thanet to follow Whitstable's lead in becoming a Plastic Free Community and to itself become a leader among coastal towns around the country.

Hear Jess talking about our campaign launch beach clean, Rise Up Clean Up and more on AcademyFM Thanet with Paul Rutters.

Our plan is to:

If you'd like to be involved in any way, please contact [email protected]

What can I do?

  1. Be part of the Refill Revolution and be sure to reuse and refill as much as possible.
  2. Join a local beach clean with Rise Up Clean Up or another group in your area - if you can't find a group, start one! (The Million Mile Clean site has tips and resources.)
  3. See City to Sea's 12 Ways to reduce plastic pollution.
  4. Sign up to get your Surfers Against Sewage's Plastic Free Communities individual action plan.
  5. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive tips, news and updates on activity in Thanet.

What can my business do?

  1. Become a Refill station to show customers you care (you'll get a window sticker and be added to the award-winning Refill app).
  2. Join a local beach clean or do one of your own - the Million Mile Clean site has tips and resources.
  3. Become a Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Champion by removing three items of single use plastic from your business offer. (We can help, get in touch with Jess.)
  4. Support local inititiatives from organisations like Rise Up Clean Up and Rotary with donations in cash or in kind.
  5. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive tips, news and updates on activity in Thanet.

More information


Plastic cup on beach