After almost a year of hard work within local communities, Plastic Free Roseland is getting ready to apply for ‘plastic free’ status for the area. Volunteers from the groups have been out talking to businesses, schools, community groups and parish councils to highlight the challenges of plastic pollution in the area.
Many businesses on the Roseland have become Plastic Free Champions by removing or replacing three items of single use plastic, with more making plans to join in after visits from volunteers.
Speaking with Roseland Online volunteer Amanda Harley said, “We have been delighted to see how many businesses had already taken steps to become more environmentally friendly. It’s really just been a case of visiting them and encouraging them to keep working on it.”
The Plastic Free Community network was set up by St Agnes charity, Surfers Against Sewage, to tackle avoidable single-use plastic, from the beach all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it. So far, 427 communities around the UK, both inland and coastal, have signed up.
As part of the initiative Chris Townsend and Karen Burrows, experienced beach cleaners with the National Trust, have set up a regular community beach clean at Summers Beach in St Mawes on the second Saturday of every month at 2pm from February to June, and at 10am from July to December (the dates are in our calendar).
Chris told Roseland Online, “We approached St Just Parish Council for help with our clean ups and were delighted to be awarded funding for litter pickers and gloves at the meeting last week.”
The group is also now working with local schools to help educate children about plastic pollution, and to encourage them to join local beach cleans. A visit to each primary school form Ellie Jackson, the Looe based author of books such as Duffy the Sea Turtle is planned.
Last year, volunteers from Plastic Free Roseland attended meetings of all five parish councils and after highlighting the challenges of plastic pollution, were promised their support. Councils were encouraged to put forward a nominated member who will work with the Plastic Free Roseland steering group in the future.
Volunteer, Chris Giles, who lives in Veryan, worked closely with the parish council to have a tap installed outside the public toilets so walkers and other visitors to the village are able to refill their water bottles.
Plastic Free Roseland also organised several screenings of the documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’ and ran beach cleans on Carne Beach in Veryan and Summers Beach in St Mawes in support of World Plastic Clean Up day in September.
The group is now gathering evidence of other efforts within the communities to tackle plastic pollution to submit to Surfers Against Sewage to achieve the plastic free status.
Martin Ward and Izzie MacQueen are working hard to keep their Facebook and Instagram accounts up to date. If you, your business, or your community group would like to be involved, please contact Amanda Harley on Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram.