John Hammond (The Dairy Shop) and I were invited to the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on 9th May 2018 to talk about Single Use Plastic. I spoke first, recapping what why we started SPW, what we had achieved in the short time we have been running, and what we are aiming to do, particularly with the bid for being Plastic Free Sidmouth (we should find out how that is going within a week or two btw).
Then John spoke about what he has managed to achieve in the Dairy Shop, and all the ideas for the major items that are easily got rid of – coffee cups, straws, plastic bags, cotton buds, wipes etc. The main idea was for people to do the easy things that they can do right away, and then start thinking about the harder things to achieve. There are some businesses such a card shops who will struggle if they start only having cards loose – they were writing off hundreds of pounds of damaged stock – but these things may take a little longer to change.
Sarah Burston from Sidmouth Rugby Club had lent me one of their brilliant new acrylic glasses which are going to revolutionise the outdoor drinking culture of the Folk Festival, if we can get other bars and pubs to sign up too. The idea that the unit cost of each one, including a printed one colour logo on it, works out to be about 67p, and they would need a deposit of £1 to be given out, and then returned for the deposit at the end of the day or kept by the customer as a souvenir. If everyone could use these for the Folk Festival the estimate is that would save 50,000 single use pint ‘glasses’ from being thrown away…pretty important to get this sorted out! I will find out the supplier from Sarah – watch this space.
The overwhelming vibe from the meeting was very positive and lots of people signed my form to be added to the mailing list. Since then I have received an email from Ford Simey who are very keen to make changes in their offices and more than happy to be added to our list of supportive businesses!