Plastic free shop set sights on carbon neutral Sheffield by 2030

A plastic free shop has started a petition for Sheffield City Council to bring their target forward from 2050 to 2030 to make the city carbon neutral.

The staff at Unwrapped, Zoe Pearson, 36, Dr Rebecca Atkinson, 35, and Dr Kirsty Burnet, 36, were inspired to make the petition after the council announced a climate emergency but didn’t move their carbon neutral target forward.

Dr Atkinson said: “I was outside the council building at the last meeting with my two young children. I was so full of hope that the council would decide to reduce the target.

“I was really upset that they didn’t do that and I don’t understand what the reasons were. If you declare a climate emergency it means you have to act with urgency.”

Unwrapped helps people in Crookes cut down on their plastic waste, offering refill stations, reusable items such as coffee cups and jars, and package-free products such as shampoo bars.

Ms Pearson said: “There are lots and lots of small changes that people can make that don’t have to be complicated or intimidating. There are lots and lots of tiny changes you can add up to make a big impact. It doesn’t have to be one massive change straight away, if you do one change every week it’s not as intimidating. You get used to it and it becomes routine and you move onto the next change.

“We’ve got 12 years to reduce the carbon levels in the world so that we don’t increase global warming by the 1.5 degrees that will cause a global environmental catastrophe. It’s not a very long time, but with the decision by Sheffield City Council setting the target at 2050, it’s 20 years too late.”

The petition, which has only been going since Saturday, has already amassed several hundred signatures, both online and in store. They intend to take it to the next city council meeting, read out comments from the petition, and ask what the councillors intend to do to approach the climate emergency.

Dr Atkinson added: “We don’t have the leadership in the central government to address climate change, we need to do it at a local level, so they really need to pull out their finger and do something to help mitigate the effects of climate change and to make sure that Sheffield is carbon neutral as soon as possible.”