OLDHAM agency Cornerstone Design & Marketing has helped Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to develop a new website to stamp out the use of avoidable single-use plastics across the city-region.

Cornerstone has worked with GMCA, which represents 10 Greater Manchester Councils and the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to develop the Plastic Free GM website and campaign.

A key purpose of the website is to help businesses, organisations and individuals to find out more about how they can change their own activities, become more environmentally aware and make more sustainable choices.

The website aims to provide information, advice and guidance on the best options to reduce avoidable single-use plastics - from creating no waste at all, to moving to re-usable options and choosing items that are easy to recycle by replacing single-use plastics such as straws, cups and take away containers with environmentally-friendly alternatives.

The website was recently launched publicly and can be seen at plasticfreegm.com

David Wadsworth, managing director of Cornerstone, said: “For this project, we helped GMCA develop the Plastic Free GM brand visual identity, user-experience (UX) strategy, design and final development on a bespoke WordPress platform in-line with GMCA guidelines, whilst adding a level of individuality to the overall project.

“The campaign’s first phase is designed to engage with cafes, restaurants, food and beverage outlets. The aim is to provide information and guidance to these organisations to help them reduce the amount of avoidable single-use plastics they use or to move to more sustainable alternatives including paper straws, which are much less harmful to the environment. Between five and nine billion straws are thrown away in the UK every year, and each straw will take around 400 years to decompose. Overall, this scheme is a great one to get onboard with.”

The use of avoidable single-use plastics, is a growing issue that GMCA is aiming to tackle quickly. With growing concerns over waste plastic being found in our rivers, seas and oceans, there are many pressing reasons to make changes to our everyday use.

Cornerstone has previously worked with GMCA on other projects, such as Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) and Nature Greater Manchester. These campaigns were designed to engage with the public, raise awareness of issues and change public behaviour on issues such as increasing levels of domestic waste recycling, increasing public awareness and use of parks, green spaces, woods, rivers and other natural, outdoor attractions across Greater Manchester.

Nature Greater Manchester also provided helpful resources to medical professionals such as doctors, who could advise patients.

Cornerstone has worked on a number of public sector communications and website campaigns in Greater Manchester and the North West.

Last year, two campaigns developed with Cornerstone and the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) received gold awards at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) 2018 North West Pride Awards. The two awards were for categories of Healthcare Campaign and Low Budget Campaign.

PHOTO: Nicola Adamson and Mubarak Panti of Cornerstone Design & Marketing who designed and developed the Plastic Free GM website