In 2017 after being inspired by a social media picture of a seahorse carrying a plastic earbud in the ocean, I started to research what we could personally do to improve the massive problem of Ocean Plastic. I was horrified when we started looking into the problem of how much damage can be done by even a small establishment such as ours based on the coast. With help from my equally dedicated and enthusiastic Sous Chef Richard Smith and support from the whole team we set about our changes. The following initiatives were researched, adopted and introduced to the day to day running of our business to ensure we are as Plastic Free as feasibly possible, with further actions constantly reviewed and planned as we evolve further.
Plastic Free Champion Actions to date
We have teamed up with Less Plastic and Surfers Against Sewage to support the local beach cleans. Not only do these help with the immediate problem of plastic left on our beaches directly entering the oceans, they also massively increase awareness which contributes to changing personal habits.
We stock and promote the sale of Surfers Against Sewage bamboo coffee cups, offering a 20p discount incentive for every coffee purchased in a reusable cup.
We have changed our Take away containers, coffee cups and lids to Compostable items from Vegware. They are made from sugar cane fibre and can be composted in 12 weeks.
We have changed our plastic glasses to a completely compostable version which states the message ‘I am Not a Plastic Cup’ emphasising and spreading our message.
We now use purely wooden cutlery
We only use paper straws throughout our business as even biodegradable straws need the correct conditions to degrade.
We now only stock glass bottles within our range – all plastic drink bottles have been replaced.
We no longer stock single use sauce sachets. Customers are offered sauce etc within the bar.
Plastic recycling within the bar
Encourage return of takeaway containers for safe disposal, even biodegradable.
Plastic Free Actions Planned
Liaise with suppliers to reduce plastic waste packaging
Continued promotion of return of takeaway containers
Liaise with South Hams District Council and Viridor (our waste disposal teams) to ensure most effective waste disposal and recycling
Promote awareness and encourage good practice
We also received a Plastic Clever award for our positive steps on fighting plastic pollution.
I have also spent a great deal of time researching and choosing similarly minded Green partners that can help us with our vision.
OTTER BREWERY – Over 5 generations of family brewing they were the perfect choice for us to work with and being completely independent we had a lot to choose from. Environmentally friendly is at the core of what they do down to brewers grains used for cattle feed, yeast taken to the local piggery and waste water returned to the water course through their willow beds. The building of their new cellar led them to win ‘Eco Building of the Year” in the South Wests Commercial Property Awards.
HERON VALLEY – Family business making award winning organic juices, ciders and soft drinks. Winner of The Soil Association Organic Food Award, their apples are sourced from their own orchards and similar growers, they will be planting over 2000 apple and pear trees of their own over the next 12 months and work closely with local bee keepers and the Wildlife Trust to help create a bee and pollinator friendly environment in their orchards. They also farm organically, use all recycled materials including bottles, caps and cardboard and even recycle the apple skins and pomace by feeding it to their herd of Organic South Devon Cows. They also work closely with local schools to educate the younger members of the community about sustainability and over the next 5 years will be embarking on a new orchard planting project.
FATROC COFFEE – Tripled certified. Organic, Fair-trade and Rainforest Alliance – affirming our commitment to supporting small farming communities to work successfully and sustainable.
PUKKA TEA – Meeting fair for life standard – the gold standard in fair and ethical trade. 1% for the Planet initiative ensures that 1% of their turnover is given to environmental and social causes. Tea is certified by the soil association. Making a real difference to people, plants and the planet.
SURFERS AGAINST SEWAGE – Charity promoting the safekeeping of our coastlines and oceans through galvanising communities and education, heavily involved with promoting plastic free initiatives.