NALC – Reduce Single Use – Swap2Save

Reduce Single-Use Campaign
Guest Article by Tracey From
The Norfolk County Council Waste Team

Mr Jeff Gough
Shotesham Parish Council [South Norfolk]

Dear Jeff
Please pass this on to your Shotesham Parish Council Councillors, Relevant Local Organisations AND, if you possibly can, Your Residents

Editor’s note:
We are pleased to give you tips from the Norfolk County Council Waste team. We work closely with them – and remember: if we waste less, we reduce our carbon footprint – and save money. 

Tracey who wrote this tip, has a background in teaching. She joined the waste reduction team in 2006 to help to deliver a waste education programme. Since then, she has been involved in several waste reduction initiatives including textiles and litter, but her main focus is on school and community engagement projects.


Reduce Single-Use: swap2save

Single-use products are items that are used just once, sometimes only for a few moments, before being thrown away. Vast amounts of energy and resources are used in their production, plus these products are responsible for huge volumes of litter and pollution.

Our swap2save campaign launched on 22nd March and calls for people to swap single-use products for reusablealternatives. We’re asking individuals, schools and businesses to pledge to swap in a bid to save the planet and save money.

By making some small everyday changes, like swapping a disposable plastic water bottle for a refillable one, or ditching throw away wet wipes in favour of a washable cotton flannel, everyone can help to drive down single-use product and plastic waste in Norfolk.

The single-use items targeted by the campaign lead to 30,000 tonnes of waste annually in Norfolk, costing £3.47 million to dispose of every year.

What the campaign involves

Social media posts will be going out via Norfolk recycles and Norfolk County Council social media platforms every Monday from 22nd March until 7th June 2021. Each post will promote one of 12 simple swaps that individuals can make to reduce the use of common single-use products.

12 Simple Swaps:

  • Swap bottled water
  • Swap ready-made sandwiches
  • Swap disposable wipes
  • Swap disposable coffee cups
  • Swap plastic plant pots
  • Swap disposable face masks
  • Swap crisp packets
  • Swap disposable sanitary products
  • Swap disposable nappies
  • Swap disposable razors
  • Swap balloons and sky lanterns
  • Swap clingfilm

Short Videos

In each post there will be a short video showing one of the swaps, an environmental fact and information about potential cost savings of making the swap.

Further information about each of the swaps, and all the accompanying videos, are available on the Norfolk recycles website.

The Pledge

As well as promoting these swaps, we are asking people to take action and sign up to our reduce single-use charter where they can pledge to swap2save single-use products for reusable alternatives. Once signed up, we’d like people to share their swaps with us on social media, tagging us on #swap2save.

Swap examples:

Schools and Businesses

It’s not just individuals who can get involved: in the campaign, we’re calling on schools and businesses to make the pledge too.

Our new Reduce single-use school award scheme and accompanying education pack have been specially designed to help schools to reduce single-use one step at a time. The first step is to involve pupils in a waste audit to work out which single-use products to targets on the school charter, then an action plan is drawn up. As they work their way through the 12 targets, schools will earn bronze, silver and gold awards.

Before the start of the pandemic, Norfolk County Council put in place some new measures to minimise single-use product and plastic use in its buildings. The County Hall case study was put together to share ideas and encourage other businesses to sign up and follow suit, saving money and the planet.

How your Parish Council can help

If you would like to support our campaign, here are some ideas on ways you could help:

  • Share, like and comment on our swap2save social media posts every Monday
  • Share your own ideas and swaps on social media and tag us on #swap2save
  • Encourage your community to Sign up to the campaign and pledge to swap2save
  • Make contact with any local schools or businesses who may be interested in joining


Lots of food for thought in Tracey’s article and remember all the savings Tracey suggests will greatly help towards our twin campaigns :

Cutting a Tonne in ‘21
Being Plastic Free by ‘23

Keep well – keep safe – and remember Spring really is coming 😊

With kind regards
John W Pennell
Chairman: Well-Being Initiative Task Force
Norfolk Association of Local Councils Limited (Trading as Norfolk ALC)

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