NEW colourful signs created by children are now in place at The Groves in Chester, each displaying an important eco message.

Cheshire West and Chester Council, working with Chester and District Friends of the Earth, has installed the signs, giving important messages about single use plastics and encouraging people not to drop litter at the Groves.

The signs were designed by the winners of a competition arranged by Friends of the Earth, Chester last year, but the pandemic delayed them appearing in pride of place by the River Dee.

Now a series of 12 signs are in place along railings at the Groves for all to see. The overall winner was by Maddy Scott of Shocklach Oviatt C of E Primary school, who created a polluted ocean scene using a very creative, torn paper collage.

The council’s cabinet member for the climate emergency, Cllr Matt Bryan, said: “Plastic litter can be dangerous for both people and animals so we urgently need to keep up the fight against single-use plastics. These precious habitats, like our wonderful River Dee, are home to many species of wildlife at risk of permanent harm from litter pollution.

“The signs look wonderful and the children’s ideas for getting their message across are really impressive. We all need to play our part by using alternative to plastics where we can and not dropping litter.”

Helen Tandy, from Chester and District Friends of the Earth, said: “We achieved Plastic Free Chester in 2018 via a Friends of the Earth Chester & District Campaign working with Surfers Against Sewage. We then organised a competition with local schools around plastic pollution, working with Cheshire West and Chester Council we agreed the art would be shown along the River Dee to raise awareness.

“I am so pleased, after a delay due to Covid, we are now able to all view this fantastic artwork and the children can now visit and see the art in situ.”

There are lots of things we can do to reduce single-use plastic:

  • Remember your refillable water bottle
  • Take a reusable coffee cup and refuse single-use take away cup
  • Refuse single-use packaging
  • Resist a straw or a buy a reusable one
  • Refuse a single-use plastic bag and take your own
  • Take your own cutlery or use sustainable alternatives
  • Avoid single-use plastics in the bathroom
  • Refuse single-use condiment sachets
  • If you visit a beach, grab a handful of plastic litter and recycle or dispose of it.
  • Get local milk in reusable glass bottles