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News Archive > General > Resort receives plastics award

Resort receives plastics award

By Warren Wilkins 3rd October 2018

Resort receives plastics award
PLASTICS PIONEER: Newquay resident Colette Beckham who helped launch the town’s drive against plastic

NEWQUAY has received a prestigious environmental award following the strides the town has made in reducing its reliance on single-use plastics.

The Plastic Free Newquay group has achieved ‘Plastic Free’ status for the town from Surfers Against Sewage following a wave of support from the community to reduce the amount of plastic waste on beaches and in the ocean.

Shops, cafes and visitor attractions have reduced their use of plastics while children and adults have taken part in beach cleans.

Plastic Free Newquay took the fight to the beaches and onto the streets through supporting monthly beach cleans and on-land litter-picks, along with an underwater ocean clean planned to take place this month.

Newquay Marine Group brought science and research to Plastic Free Newquay, partnering up with the international organisation 5 Gyres as part of their Trawlshare project where the ocean off Newquay is being monitored for micro plastics to see how much of a threat this is posing to the area’s wildlife.

Residents have got involved by posting pictures on social media of their two-minute beach cleans and litter-picks. Equal numbers of passionate locals shared tips on lifestyle changes they were making to reduce plastic in their homes, such as swapping tea bags for tea leaves, shampoo bottles for shampoo bars, plastic bags for canvas and plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones, as well as choosing reusable cups and straws amongst many other initiatives.

Businesses in Newquay have started to look at their reliance on
single-use plastics with 12 signed up as Plastic Free Champions, seeking to tackle single-use waste in their businesses and many more are currently going through the process.

Laid Back Coffee Company, Box and Barber Café, Tom Thumb Cocktail Bar, Lusty Glaze Beach, Peter Bull Resorts and the Driftwood Kitchen are amongst those who have made major changes to reduce plastic, including ditching single-use sauce sachets, plastic cups and stirrers, and stopping serving drinks in plastic bottles with many signed up as water refill stations.

The ‘Plastic Free’ status award recognises efforts the Plastic Free Newquay group has put into place in the five key elements of a Plastic Free Community, which include creating a
community steering group, local government commitment, community allies such as Plastic Free Schools, as well as the business and community involvement.

Newquay Orchard, Cornwall College Newquay, Refill Cornwall, Newquay Beach Care, Fistral Beach Care, Towan Blystra Lions and Newquay Town Council are among the organisations that have given their support.

Resident Colette Beckham was moved to  launch Plastic Free Newquay in January after watching the Blue Planet II series. The devastation and destruction to marine life caused by plastic waste sparked a worldwide anti-plastic movement, supported in the UK by Surfers Against Sewage, particularly poignant in coastal communities such as Newquay.

Colette said: “I am absolutely thrilled Newquay is being recognised for its efforts in reducing plastic.

“Our community really got behind ‘Plastic Free Newquay’, with almost immediate support from key, local organisations which really helped get the project off the ground.

“A steering group of local activists was formed to lead the project, starting work on the goals set out by Surfers Against Sewage working towards the accolade of a Plastic Free Community. Early in the process, Newquay Town Council supported the campaign but overwhelmingly local residents truly got behind the push with a 4,000-strong following on social media alongside a band of 200 volunteers, starting a wave of community
action and events.

By Warren Wilkins 3rd October 2018

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