By Rachel Lewis – Plastic Shed on behalf of SLH
Plastic Shed is a Stockport based Community Benefit Society, founded to create more meaningful opportunities for people from different walks of life to work together on a shared problem.
We unite people around the issue of plastic waste by providing lots of different ways for people to get involved with reusing plastic waste locally. Research shows that almost 90% of Brits are concerned about the UK’s use of plastics. Like many others, we are advocates of the reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy. Huge numbers of people are now trying to reduce their use of plastic. However, there is still a lot that needs to change to make a plastic-free lifestyle accessible to all. Our work supports people to throw less of the plastic they do use in the bin, therefore empowering people to see it as a valuable resource that we can all make use of.
One way that people can get involved with reusing their plastic waste is by joining in our workshops. In the summer of 2020, we were excited to be part of the Heatons Climate Action Festival, working with the brilliant SLH volunteers to run a simple plastic upcycling workshop for everyone to take part in at home. The video of the workshop is still available here, where you can learn how to turn plastic packaging into a bookmark.
People can also get involved by saving their plastic caps, which we are collecting at our new home in the Merseyway Shopping Centre. We’ve teamed up with another social enterprise, Easy Peel Studios, to turn a former shoe shop into a community workshop space called the Merseyway Workshop. The workshop space is for local people to use to learn and share skills, sell and exhibit creative work and of course… reuse their plastic waste! Inspired by a movement called Precious Plastic we now have our very own plastic waste shredder which will be available for people to use at the Merseyway Workshop. The shredder was built by the amazing Heatons Men In Sheds volunteer Graham, at home, in his garage! Once we’ve shredded the plastic caps they will then be safely melted down into moulds and turned into new useful items such as table tops, coat hooks and stools. Items that will be useful forever. You can see some of the impressive creations made by other Precious Plastic groups here.
We’re also always on the lookout for old vinyl banners. When we first met SLH at a Kick The Plastic event in 2019, the group was asking for ideas for re-using the out-of-date SLH banners. We were inspired to come up with ideas! Since then we’ve worked with the community to turn more than 20 vinyl banners, including those from SLH, into planters, hanging baskets and decorations using a sewing machine or hole punch. We’re now trying out ideas for aprons and tote bags. It’s such a great durable material and the pictures and text create really fun abstract designs!
If you would like to find out more about Plastic Shed, please do visit our website or our space on Deanery Way in the Merseyway Shopping Centre, SK1 1PP once we are open.