During 2020 and until July 2021, the city of Västerås has conducted a plastic diet project. The aim was to reduce the use of wrong plastic in the wrong place, both within the city`s own activities as well as in the civil society and at events and festivals. Due to the pandemic all events and festivals were canceled, and no event activities were performed.
The project kick-off in February 2020 was a co-operation between the city and NonHazCity. About 40 politicians, municipal managers and employees learned more about plastics and problems linked to use of plastics, by speakers from several European countries.
The project has carried out several actions:
- Plastic products containing hazardous substances were exchanged in school restaurants and home and consumer science classrooms
- Removal of plastic cups in the City Hall washrooms
- Plastic shoe covers in preschools were removed
- Contracts for plastic products, e.g., single use items, were updated, which has led to a reduction in purchase of unnecessary plastic
- A power point presentation with facts about plastics and tips on plastic diet for use in internal and external communication was developed, as well as a flyer with 10 tips on plastic diet for private households
- A digital education about plastics and plastic diet was developed and sent to all employees in the city
- Around 20 posts on the city´s social media sites Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn have been made
- The city has taken part of the NonHazCity Plastic Diet campaign on social media. Posts have been made on social media in Sweden. In total around 240 000 persons were reached by the campaign
- Two information meetings with civil society were carried out
The city is now working on developing a long-term strategy to phase out single use plastics and plastics containing hazardous substances. In this work, the experience from the plastic diet project forms an important basis.