5 simple ways your business can help our Cleaner Coastlines campaign in North Somerset
PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:30 22 November 2017
Plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery are among the items regularly found on North Somerset's beaches. This week, the Times' Cleaner Coastlines campaign is calling on the district's businesses to help beat plastic pollution.
The Times is working alongside North Somerset Council to achieve gain Plastic-Free Coastline status for Clevedon and Portishead from Surfers Against Sewage.
As part of our campaign, we are highlighting the small changes all of us can make so collectively we can make a big difference to the environment.
A Surfers Against Sewage spokesman said: “The threat from single-use plastic items is becoming more and more noticed.
“People are now actively avoiding locations which use a high amount of this material and are beginning to implement lifestyle changes to reduce their personal reliance on single-use plastic items.”
1) Clearing away litter from the front of your premises and ensuring it is recycled properly.
It may seem a small thing, yet picking up those dropped crisp packets and plastic bottles will ensure they do not get blown down the road and into the sea. All of us can play our part in keeping our towns and villages tidy.
Nick Prosser has been landlord at the Greene King-owned pub The Little Harp in Clevedon for the past month. The pub has a community beach clean kit, which people can borrow any time the pub is open. Working alongside its suppliers, the pub’s recycling is also carefully organised to ensure it all ends up in the right place. The suppliers take the plastic away with them when making deliveries to ensure it is all recycled.
Nick said: “It has increased the amount of recycling we are doing. Greene King wants to make sure there is no general waste by 2020.”
Nick said he would support swapping paper straws for plastic ones in the future.
2) Make sure your recycling is done properly.
Does your office or shop have a separate recycling bin? Does everyone know what can go in there? Our landfill sites are growing because not everything is recycled properly, but that does not have to be the case. Simply pop those cardboard boxes and plastic bottles in a recycling bin or box, and ensure the rubbish ends up in the right place.
3) Straws suck.
Plastic straws are used for about 20 minutes and a discarded one can be stuck in the environment for hundreds of years. They have been extracted from turtles’ nostrils and many of them are found on Weston’s beach. Your business could consider swapping them for paper straws, or simply hiding them away and only providing them when they are asked for.
4) Single-use plastics.
This will make the biggest difference to the environment and your efforts here will help Weston secure Plastic-Free Coastline status. Items such as plastic condiment sachets, plastic cutlery, plastic stirrers, straws and takeaway boxes can all be swapped for more sustainable alternatives. If your business gets rid of three of these, then you can be one of our Plastic-free Business Heroes.
Approved businesses will receive a sticker or certificate, and be put on Surfers Against Sewage’s map. And you may even save some money.
5) Offer a discount if customers bring re-usable coffee cups.
Many people are reducing their reliance on single-use plastic items, and re-usable coffee cups are easy for people to get hold of now. Offering a discount to people using their own cups could draw those people to your café or coffee house, and helps to make your business more environmentally-friendly.
Have you done any of these things in your business? Or have you found some other way to reduce your plastic waste? If so, we want to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us what you have done and we will add you to our online list of Plastic-Free Business Heroes.
Learn more on our Facebook group Cleaner Coastlines: Weston and North Somerset plastic-free campaign.