Transition Falmouth has extended its congratulations to the Plastic Free Falmouth team and their partner organisation, Falmouth Marine Conservation Group, for being awarded Plastic Free Coastlines status by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).
Falmouth is only the third place in Cornwall to date to achieve the Award, following Penzance and then, very recently, Perranporth; but there are many other communities across the county (and indeed the UK) who have registered with SAS to gain PF status, with a view to helping tackle the profoundly serious problem of marine pollution.
Plastic Free Falmouth were required to meet a number of challenging objectives to earn the award, which included setting up a steering group, liaising with the local council, local businesses, centres of education, and a range of community groups, encouraging them to reduce or eliminate reliance on single-use plastic by engaging with a number of important intiatives.
Key examples include the Final Straw Campaign designed to help phase out the use of plastic straws; the ReFILL Campaign whereby local businesses allow punters to refill their water bottles on their premises free of charge; promoting the use of reusable coffee cups; phasing out plastic cutlery, and not least, avoiding plastic carrier bags and a wide range of unnecessary plastic packaging. All this in addition to regular and recorded beach cleans.
Other communities wishing to follow the example of Plastic Free Falmouth, and help achieve a Plastic Free Cornwall, need to contact Surfers Against Sewage for more information, see www.sas.org.uk/plasticfreecoastlines. They will be more than pleased to hear from you.
There is also a good deal of evidence that the tide is turning generally in the battle to tackle unnecessary plastic waste and litter as many large supermarkets commit to reducing their plastic packaging and/or making more of their packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable. Plastic-free aisles have arrived in a major supermarket in Amsterdam, and the business sector in the UK is increasingly turning its attention to how redundant plastic can be put to positive use rather than being landfilled or incinerated.
Watch this space for more information!