5 easy ways your business can help Weston achieve Plastic-Free Coastline status
PUBLISHED: 08:30 19 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:15 22 November 2017
Plastic pollution is harming Weston-super-Mare's beaches and risks endangering the birds and fish in our seas - and we are calling on businesses to get involved in our campaign.
Our Cleaner Coastlines campaign is highlighting the small changes all of us can make so collectively we can make an enormous difference to our environment.
This week, we are calling on businesses to take a look at what they can do to help Weston gain Plastic-Free Coastline Status from Surfers Against Sewage.
The Mercury is working with Weston Chamber of Commerce and North Somerset Council to encourage businesses to reduce and remove single-use plastics, and to take other simple steps to ensure rubbish does not make its way to the sea.
A chamber spokesman said: “When we were made aware of the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic-Free Coastline campaign we thought it would be a tremendous opportunity for Weston Chamber of Commerce to work with its members and other businesses in the town to take positive action against the plastic pollution so prevalent on our beautiful beaches in the area.
“We hope by achieving Plastic-Free Coastline status not only could businesses benefit by attracting support from members of the public as well, as reducing waste disposal costs, but also residents would have a much cleaner, healthier environment to live in.”
Here are some simple ways you can get involved:
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 town tidy.
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 email@example.com to tell us what you have done and we will add you to our online list of Plastic-Free Business Heroes.
You can learn more about the changes businesses can make and shout about your successes by joining our Facebook group by searching for Cleaner Coastlines: Weston and North Somerset plastic-free campaign.