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Since Blue Planet II hit our screens in 2017, people have awoken to the plastic crisis in a social movement that is being dubbed ‘the Blue Planet effect’. In May 2019, plastic straws, plastic drinks stirrers and plastic-bodied cotton-buds were banned from mainstream usage, and of course the plastic bag charges have been in place for several years now, taking more than 9 billion carrier bags out of production. However, this government action has only been inspired by demand, and there’s still plenty more that we can do to keep the pressure on. Cornwall is welcoming plastic-free communities, with Penzance being Britain’s first ever plastic-free town, and there are plenty of other shops, schemes and initiatives to help you use less single-use plastics on your trip to Cornwall.
There are more and more refill stores popping up all over the county, and with cafes and restaurants signing up to become Refill Stations for water (download the Refill App!), it’s easier than ever to re-use containers and bottles instead of binning them and buying another. Whilst your holiday cottage will be stocked with all the basics, if you’re after cupboard items, shower gel and shampoo or spices, seek out a refill store! If you’re staying in West Cornwall, head to The Weigh Inn or Archie Browns in Penzance, for South Cornwall visit The Refill Store in Truro or Un_Rap in Falmouth. If you’re staying in North Cornwall, head to Newquay to find The Good Lyfe, or Goonhavern to Mr Fruity for fresh, zero plastic packaging fruit and veg. For anywhere from mid to West Cornwall, check out the locations of the Incredible Bulk van.
It’s no secret that plastic bottles should really be avoided – but they’re so convenient!! Of course, the best solution is to get hold of a reusable bottle (Chilly’s bottles are great) – but if you’re anything like us, holiday brain can get the better of us meaning the reusable bottle is left on the side back at base. Instead of reaching for the nearest bottle of coke to rehydrate, grab a can instead – it’s cheaper too. If you just want water, then make sure you do keep your eyes peeled for water in cans or cardboard cartons. More and more places are getting on board with this way of distributing water, and it will make a difference – even Tesco are selling them now.
Last year, British beaches were given the gift of 14,000 body boards made of polystyrene. These cheap and cheerful staples of Cornish seaside fun have been revealed to be not quite so cheerful, with the £10-£15 purchases swiftly snapping when a particularly gnarly wave is ridden, or as they’re hauled over a rock on the way to the beach. We’re asking all guests to either give us a call before travelling down to Cornwall to find out whether their retreat has any bodyboards free to use or, if they do buy one down here, spend just a little more (often £25 will suffice!) to get a non-polystyrene one. Not only will these last longer and not break down to harm the environment, but they will also help you ride the waves much better, and give you more of an incentive to fit in back in the car to bring down again next year. Happy surfing!