One year on, we are moving closer to achieving our goal of no longer using single use plastic over the counter by 2020.
Some quick, easy fixes have included switching to paper straws, replacing plastic water bottles with aluminium cans and using wooden takeaway cutlery. At Christmas, plastic free crackers were enjoyed by those attending carveries, which also contributed towards the charity Shelter, who support those facing homelessness. Furthermore, in line with the ReFill initiative, we have a water station for visitors to fill their reusable drinking bottles with tap water, to encourage a move away from purchasing single use plastic water bottles.
We have also been using Vegware as a supplier for all of our disposable catering equipment – for example, takeaway cups. Vegware are an eco-friendly disposables company that create all of their items from a plant-based substance; thus, their products are fully compostable. We also stock reusable bamboo Ecoffee Cups. The Ecoffee Cup website quotes that over 300 billion single-use cups are manufactured, 99% of which will never be recycled. Accordingly, South West Lakes have supplied all of their staff with one of these cups, free of charge.
Here at Roadford Lake we have eradicated our previous use of condiment sachets with the introduction of sauce pumps and compostable sauce pots. We are also planning to use loose leaf tea in the near future; many people are unaware that tea bags contain micro-plastics, and they also think that loose leaf tea tastes great!
We are currently working with our suppliers to investigate how we can aid them in their goal; many businesses are keen to align with the worldwide consensus that disposable plastic is a serious problem that needs to be tackled. According to Greenpeace, up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year, with the equivalent of a truckload every minute.
Mike Weaver, Café Manager at Roadford Lake, said, ‘Despite plastic being ingrained in our society, we are fully committed to doing our bit to tackle the worlds plastic challenges and help make positive improvements to our environment. We are always looking for new ideas and ways in which we can help our local environment and, in turn, our planet’
To find out more about the devastating impact of single-use plastic and the fantastic Re-Fill initiative, visit www.lessplastic.org.uk and www.refill.org.uk. You can also follow our progress on Facebook SW Lakes or Twitter @swlakes