Penzance’s Plastic Free Champions Shine


Penzance’s Plastic Free Champions Shine

What a night! We’re still on a high after Penzance’s 2024 Plastic Free Champion Awards at The Exchange on Friday night. Almost 150 people came together to celebrate those businesses dedicated to creating a sustainable future for our community. And my goodness what a night it was, showcasing the commitment and passion of our local champions.

The gallery was buzzing as over 40 businesses, their friends and family arrived for a night of food, drink and dancing. It was an honour to be able to get so many of our trailblazing businesses in one place to say thanks for all their hard work and give out the 2024 awards.

We have over 135 Plastic Free Champions in the town. You can see them all here. On the night we wanted to welcome the latest businesses to join the movement as well as those going above and beyond. PZ Mayor Stephen Reynolds came along to do the honours, reflecting the great support we’ve had off PZ Council over the years to help us reduce single use plastic in the town. So, who won what?

The town’s latest Plastic Free Champions are:  

  • The Art Café
  • Join
  • Seven Stones
  • The Flowerhouse
  • Knickerhood
  • The Copper Fox
  • Pickle
  • Holbein House
  • Zennor Wild

The Plastic Free Champion award from Surfers Against Sewage recognises businesses who are taking the first steps to be plastic free. They can then go on to get a Silver and Gold award. The Gold award recognising those businesses at the top of their game and being as single use plastic free as they possibly can be.

We’re super proud that we have our first three Gold Champions in the town …

  • Hannah Humpston Jewellery
  • Newlyn Fermentary
  • Raine Studios

… although we know many, many more businesses have achieved the award and we’re now working with them to apply to SAS.

Special Awards 2024

We then had some special awards to recognise businesses in the community who are either going above and beyond or are actively helping us to raise awareness.

Plastic Free Hero– went to Whits & Bay Café for their commitment to being single use free. That includes a concerted effort to ditch disposable coffee cups through a refill scheme which extends as far as local workers being able to take their own mugs in for coffee, and repurposing Golowan Cups for refillable smoothie cups.

Plastic Free Kickstarter – went to Thornes Fruit and Veg for providing and accessible and affordable first rung into plastic free food shopping. Yes, they still seel thing sin plastic but it’s also a brilliant shop where you can choose to do your fruit and veg shop plastic free and even refill your milk bottles, rather than bu supermarket plastic wrapped fruit and veg

Plastic Free Community Ally  – went to Pocketful of Stones for going above and beyond on their plastic free actions (think stainless steel re-useable straws) and supporting our Plastic Free PZ Winter Film nights free of charge to enable as much fundraising as possible for local causes.

Credit: Granite Ocean Film

Plastic Free Awareness – went to the Jubilee Pool for their support of Swimming in Plastic last summer. That saw us fill the pool with a days’ worth of single use water bottles used by the town (8,000) – and local synchro group Out Of Sink did a synchronised swim in them. No mean feat – especially when a summer storm meant the whole thing had to be re arranged for the day before planned at last minute! But worth it, as the resulting images when viral and gained national coverage highlighting the continuing plastic pollution crisis we are in.

Plastic Free Tourism – went to Blue Seas Guesthouse who have been a Champion since the early days of the Plastic Free PZ campaign and quietly smash it in terms of showing how the town walks the talk to visitors. From baking their own bread to making yoghurt and not having any single use plastic in rooms they’re a shining example.

Public Choice Award – 16 Plastic Free Champions were shortlisted for the Public Choice award which went to the vote on social media in the days leading up to the event. There is a lot of love out their for our local champs for sure! But there was a clear winner – we think the gorgeous cakes help too – and we were chuffed to award Baked PZ the Public Choice award. Especially after they baked a load of cakes for the award goody bags on the night.

Plastic Free School – finally – we wanted to recognised the next generation of business owners who are showing adults the way forward. Every primary school in Penzance is signed up to SAS Plastic Free Schools but one particularly stood out over the last year and that was Newlyn School. From hosting a brilliant plastic pollution assembly to collecting copious amounts of plastic bottles for us for the Jubilee Pool.

Thanks to SK8PZ, Pure Nuff Stuff, Archie Browns, Cornish Seal Sanctuary, SAS, Polgoon and Merlin Cinema for providing gifts for the award winners.

Once the awards were handed out, we were able to showcase the launch of our brand-new Sustainable Penzance Business Hub. The hub is a tool to support businesses on their sustainable journey with free toolkits and resources as well as free events, workshops, training and sustainability consultancy. It came about after the Together for Our Planet programme last year as was created in collaboration with local businesses, including the creating of a local business action plan for the town. You can find out more and sign up here and look out for our next blog post with more info too.

For now … a massive thanks to all the volunteers, The Nelwyn Gallery & Exchange team, Whole Again Communities, Baked PZ and Groove Lounge who donated their time and resources to make such a memorable Plastic-Free Champion Awards 2024.

This community is nothing short of amazing