ILKLEY is waging war on plastic with the formation of a new campaign group and the launch of a water refill scheme.

Wharfedale Tackles Plastics was given the backing of Ilkley Parish Council this week and it is now urging local people to join its fight.

Campaigners, who want to cut the consumption of single-use plastics, are about to start drawing up an action plan for the area. And they are calling on the town's businesses and residents to get on board.

Steering group member Ros Brown says: "We are all aware of individuals, groups and businesses who have already taken steps to reduce their plastic consumption and would like to do more. Wharfedale Tackles Plastics is a way of connecting local people in this endeavour so we can achieve more together."

Fellow steering group member Anne Cuthbertson has worked hard to bring the Yorkshire Water Refill scheme to the Ilkley area.

She said: "Government research shows a staggering 11,000 plastic water bottles per minute end up in landfill or are littered in the UK. We have all seen them blighting our towns, cities and countryside, posing a threat to wildlife and the marine environment.

"Yorkshire Water has recently partnered with the highly successful City to Sea Refill Scheme and is bringing this scheme to Wharfedale. Local businesses can now help turn back the plastic tide and protect our beautiful locality by offering the facility for people to refill their own water bottles instead of producing more plastic waste."

Wharfedale Tackles Plastics will now work alongside Ilkley Parish Councillor Mark Stidworthy to draw up an action plan for the area.

Cllr Stidworthy said: "Disposable plastic has a lasting global impact, but affects us locally through unsightly and wildlife-harming littering and the cost to council tax payers and businesses of waste removal. Ilkley Parish Council pledged to support the local community in tackling this problem, and I look forward to working with Wharfedale Tackles Plastics so that individuals, local businesses and the council itself can reduce plastic use and save cost.

"The plastic bag tax is an example of a small nudge to consumer and retailer behaviour that has real positive impact, and I hope that we can find further ways to make a real difference in Ilkley."

One business which has been committed to making a difference for several years is Milestone Eco Design on Leeds Road. Owner Julian Richards has been using waste plastic such as yoghurt pots and plastic bottles, to make kitchen doors and worktops.

His company is also already offering free tap water to the public.

"We’ve proved we can make a difference," he said. "We had to overcome problems associated with the building to get the pipework to the front of the showroom but it proves it can be done and anyone can put a pipe or tap in somewhere so there’s really no excuse."

Anyone wanting to to refill their bottles should look out for Yorkshire Water Refill stickers on display in participating shops or use the app available from

Wharfedale Tackles Plastics can be contacted through its Facebook page or email

Yorkshire Water launched Yorkshire on Tap at Ilkley Carnival as one of its first steps to take a million bottles out of circulation.

Businesses which have signed up include Milestone Designs, Dan’s Den, The Little Teahouse and Bar T’at.