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News Archive > General > Resort aims to ditch plastic

Resort aims to ditch plastic

By Warren Wilkins 17th January 2018

Resort aims to ditch plastic
Plastic debris on the beach at Fistral.

NEWQUAY has joined the fight against plastic following the launch of a new community scheme.
Plastic Free Newquay has signed up to the Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) Plastic Free Coastlines initiative, which aims to reduce the amount of single use plastics on beaches and in the ocean.

Residents, businesses and environmental supporters, including Newquay Marine Group, Newquay Beach Care, Cornwall College Newquay, Newquay Orchard and ReFILL Cornwall, have so far joined the group to help the town achieve the SAS Plastic Free status.

The Plastic Free Newquay movement is gathering pace and a steering group has been elected at a meeting staged at Tom Thumb in East Street. Businesses will be encouraged to cut back on the use of single use plastics such as plastic forks and knives and polystyrene trays, and plastic-free rallies, fundraisers and monthly beach cleans will also be held.

Newquay Town Council will need to support the initiative for it to be successful. The authority’s Tourism and Leisure Committee was due to discuss the scheme and make a recommendation at its meeting on Tuesday night following a presentation from Collette Beckham, who is helping to spearhead the Plastic Free Newquay initiative.

Collette said: “The aim of Plastic Free Newquay is to achieve Plastic Free Coastline Status from Surfers Against Sewage.

“SAS wants community leaders to form action groups and there is a clear criteria they need to meet to achieve the status. There are five strands involved including local government involvement so we are hoping to get Newquay Town Council to join.

“The initiative also involves getting businesses to sign up so they make small changes, which collectively can make a big difference. For example, pubs could stop using single use plastics such as straws and cutlery and takeaways could stop using polystyrene trays. These items are used for sometimes about half an hour but live in the environment for 500 years, break down into microplastics and enter the food chain.

“One thing we would like to do is promote businesses that are doing good things so we are looking to set up a Champion scheme.

“There is additionally a community partnership strand where community groups are encouraged to join, such as surf life saving clubs and groups such as Newquay Marine Group. Newquay could already achieve the Plastic Free status as there is so much going on in the town but we want to be more ambitious. It is not about achieving the status, it is about the town’s journey getting there and the impact it could have.

“We will also be running events such as plastic-free rallies, fundraisers and a monthly beach clean.

“The initiative is not about getting rid of plastic out of Newquay completely. It is also not about criticising and berating businesses and individuals who use plastics. It is about doing all we can to make positive change and benefits the economy of Newquay, the people of Newquay and Newquay’s environment.”

The Green Party in the Newquay and St Austell constituency is backing the initiative. Spokesman Richard Clark said: “The Mid and East Cornwall Green Party are
incredibly supportive of the plastic-free initiative.” 

By Warren Wilkins 17th January 2018

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