Sea Fest May 18th 2024

We had a great time having lots of conversations at Sea Fest this year! It was massively busy between 10-1 and we didn’t have a chance to breathe, but then had a more relaxed (if a bit dripped on) afternoon in the rain. Blimmin English weather!

Leann did a fantastic job with the children, repurposing old glow sticks into beautiful bracelets, and encouraging everyone to make a piece of bunting to add to the community bunting to be used at future events (made from old banners). Her bags are absolutely beautiful, and all made from old airbeds and inflatables etc. She is now on a mission to collect any old wetsuits that are no longer suitable for wearing…contact us if you have any!

Lots of people made pledges:

Marilyn: I will refuse to buy plastic carriers and ‘Bags For Life’ and will re-use my existing supply of bags instead.
Sheila: I will investigate using more refillable products especially in laundry and bathroom.
Bea: I will try not to waste food – buy and eat everything.
Kim: I will stop buying coffee to take away.
Kelston: We will make sure our son joins us in recycling everything possible.
Julie: I will use more refillable bottles.
Chris: We will only buy fruit and veg without packaging.
Judy: I will use a local shop to refill washing up liquid.
Zoe: I will buy more loose items in the supermarket rather than packaged.
Jemma: I am going to refill my washing up liquid.
Jeremy: We will reduce our crisp packet production!
Anna: I will buy fewer fizzy drinks – (added by us… and none in bottles.)
James: I will not buy any more plastic drinks bottles.
Jude: I will pick up plastic off the beach whenever I can.
Kathie: I will complain about plastic tags on new clothes.
Hilary: I will not buy any more ‘Bags For Life’ and use my cotton tote bags instead.
Ben: I will not use take out coffee cups and will take my own cup when I travel for work.
Clare: I will use my own bags not plastic, and I will use my own coffee cup.
Richard: I will use bigger shampoo bottles, and refillables.
Sarah: I will always try to tell someone if they drop rubbish!

What inspirational pledges! I hope they are useful to others to give them a nudge to make a small change in their own plastic footprint. We can, and all need to, do better. Obviously we need government changes to reduce the overwhelming piles of plastic tat and packaging that we are all forced to buy as the system doesn’t work. Having Richard Foord MP with us for some of the day was a very positive message – hopefully the future holds some politicians who might actually make a difference for us rather than faffing about Extended Producer Responsibility schemes and Deposit Return Schemes that just get pushed back constantly.

One negative that I took from Sea Fest was the town’s ability to get itself into a complete mess very quickly. The bins were overflowing with ‘biodegradable’ coffee cups and Vegware half pints, and tin cans. Obviously the tin cans could have been put in a recycling bin very easily. The ‘biodegradable’ stuff just needs to stop being produced. We don’t have anywhere that can recycle it or compost it, so it just ends up in the waste stream. It is yet another way for businesses who produce them to get rich by selling them to businesses who want to do the right thing, for consumers who want to feel that they’re doing the right thing… but actually they’re just more rubbish. Why can’t we use reusable cups, mugs, glasses, plates etc????? Why is it so hard?

This is why we are relaunching ‘Plastic Free Sidmouth’. It’s not all plastic – it’s SINGLE USE that we are talking about. We achived Plastic Free status ages ago but we’ve not really got any further with it so it is time to get serious! Please complete this form – make a pledge and get involved. Please also share it widely with anyone you think might be interested, particulary with people who own a local business.

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