Plastic Free St Ives – how can you help Cornwall?

'It’s the little things that citizens do. That’s what will make the difference...' -Wangari Maathai

With our current climate, there is no greater conversation than that of our environment.  Orange Roofs as a company and the team as individuals, are very committed to lowering any negative impacts we make on the environment, our planet and the people and animals we share it with. So, we reached out to Plastic Free St Ives, to learn more about their inspired campaign  in our beautiful seaside town!

The Plastic Free Campaign

The team behind the Plastic Free St Ives campaign have shared with us some invaluable information, that has helped us learn more about what this movement as a whole means, ways that businesses and individuals alike can get involved, and some daily lifestyle changes we can all make that can help contribute to saving our planet.

What is Plastic Free St Ives?

Plastic Free St Ives is part of large initiative set up by the Surfers Against Sewage called ‘Plastic Free Communities’.  The aim of this is to reduce our towns contribution to the global plastic crisis, by reducing St Ives’ ‘single use plastic-footprint’. Now, it does not mean eliminating all plastic from our lives, however it does mean trying to eradicate the avoidable single-use culprits, which hopefully we are all becoming a little more familiar with (bags, straws, packaging etc.)

The initiative has been put in place to encourage the town to strive for a ‘Plastic – Free’ status, and businesses to achieve their own land mark of being ‘Plastic – Free Champions.’

For a town to be recognised as ‘Plastic – Free’, they must successfully meet five objectives posed by the Surfers Against Sewage. The team at Plastic Free St Ives shared these objectives with us, and they are as follows:

  1. Organise Plastic Free St Ives steering group
  2. Gain the support of local business
  3. Gain the support of local community organisations and groups
  4. Organise local events
  5. Gain official support of the local town council

St Ives has successfully completed 3/5 of these, and the town is striving to reach the full 5/5 and gain the accreditation by the end of 2019. The three that St Ives has under its belt is 1) The organisation of a Plastic Free St Ives steering group, 3) Gained the support of local businesses and 5) Gained the official support of the local town council.

The criteria that Plastic Free St Ives shared with us, inspired us to compile this article to help spread the word of his vital campaign, and reflect on our own practices to see what we can do to help.

Who are the Surfers Against Sewage and what do they do?

The Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) team started off as a grassroots movement, and they are now one of the UK’s ‘most active and successful’ environmental charities.

The SAS team are committed to the preservation, protection, cleanliness and safety of the ocean, beaches and wildlife. They also live by the motto ‘Not just surfers, not just sewage’. This originates from a severe issue that plagued our beaches in Cornwall, where raw sewage was being released into the sea, and with endless perseverance and campaigning that came to an end and our beaches are some of the cleanest in Europe.

Now, there is a new problem they have had to tackle, and this is plastic. SAS have devoted a huge team and length of time to divert their efforts in to this problem facing us because as they say ‘it’s not just surfers who care passionately about our coastlines’ it is ‘swimmers, dog walkers, paddleboarders, beach cleaners, kite surfers, sandcastle builders, ice cream eaters and sun bathers’ all alike, and we believe that each and everyone of us, whether you’re a local resident or holiday maker, fit in to at least one of these categories.

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