Show the Love to Penzance with a Beach Clean

This February, we’re celebrating the incredible part of the country we live in, as well as supporting the people who are working hard to keep it that way.

Plastic Free Penzance is gathering the troops for a beach clean on Sunday 13th February, as part of the ‘Show the Love’ campaign. The movement, driven by the Climate Coalition, takes place every year in February and aims to highlight how people from all walks of life are helping to tackle climate change together, however big or small.

Since 2015, ‘Show the Love’ has inspired the UK to use the power of green hearts to ask politicians to help tackle the climate crisis. Whether it starts at home or with a community group, the green heart can be used as a symbol when asking your local MP to drive change towards protecting the climate. If you want to find out how you can get involved, download the Climate Coalition action pack here.

As well as supporting this initiative, the beach clean this month will as always support and form part of the Surfers Against Sewage beach clean movement, which enables volunteers from all ages and backgrounds to help protect the ocean.

If you’d like to help us spread the love, we’ll be at Long Rock Car Park on Sunday 13th February at 11am to clean up the coast from Long Rock to Eastern Green. As always, kit will be provided for free, so you can help pick up discarded rubbish and plastic that could eventually be washed into the ocean. Feel free to bring your own gloves, bags and anti-bac if you feel better doing that.

No pre-sign up is required, just simply turn up on the day, just one thing to remember … children under 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

See you there!

Feel free to tag us on on Insta and Facebook on the day to share your beach clean experience. We’d love to hear your stories

Was the Tour of Britain Plastic Free?

Tackling plastic waste is a tough job – especially when it comes to big events. But as the people of Penzance welcomed the Tour of Britain to town, were there signs that things are changing?

Just a few weeks ago, more than a hundred cyclists zoomed through PZ’s streets in a nail-biting first stage of the competition, which saw cyclists riding 180km through Cornish countryside, from Penzance to Bodmin (and a myriad of other towns along the way).

Unsurprisingly, thousands of people headed to town to mark the beginning of the nationally-renowned event. And, after 18 months of restrictions and a total shut down on large celebrations, it’s safe to say the atmosphere was buzzing!

Even as festivities kicked off for the Grand Depart on that mizzly Sunday morning, it was smiles all round and a feeling of excitement to be back in the thick of it all once more. From the cycling enthusiasts to the families tagging along for the ride, this was no doubt a historic moment for PZ.

But, as with all events, there always comes a certain degree of rubbish. In all honesty, it’s almost expected at this point. That’s why we always like to be prepared; in this case, with the volunteer crew from Plastic Free Penzance who were on hand to snatch up plastic packaging pollution before it could cause irreparable damage.

A pleasant surprise

However, what they found was a pleasant surprise… there wasn’t as much waste as expected. In fact, they quickly noted that all riders were carrying refillable water bottles and the traders running the market stalls had put the effort in to reduce the amount of plastic being given out. The town’s Plastic Free Charter, which was sent out in advance to local and national organisers, had been embraced.

We were absolutely thrilled to see the charter in action,  it demonstrates that being a Plastic Free Community, almost four years down the line, has become embedded in our culture. That volunteers picked up so much less than expected is an absolute win for Penzance and shows that hosting big events doesn’t have to mean big amounts of waste. Penzance is helping lead the way when it comes to sustainability and it’s not being confined to our own households.

However, while things are certainly on the up, it doesn’t necessarily mean the job is done. Cigarette butts, which are made of non-biodegradable plastic, were the top find on the clean at the Tour of Britain and can still be incredibly harmful to wildlife. Now Sustainable PZ will be counting up how many butts it finds on its street and beach cleans through Plastic Free PZ,  to call for special butt bins.

Taking it further

We still have a long way to go, but the good news is that we can all help. If you’re planning on heading to a big event in town there are ways to reduce your eco-impact, in fact, Sustainable PZ have created a guide right here for you. It’s got tips for everything from getting here to what to bring with you, so you can make sure you’re putting the planet and people at the top of your list.

And event organisers? Look out for the new event toolkit coming soon, to help you support our ambitions to becoming a truly sustainable community.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up with our latest advice and tips – or even share some of your own.

Refill PZ Launches

Penzance Joins the Refill Revolution

A new community refill scheme has launched in Penzance to help locals and visitors avoid single use plastic and support local high street businesses.

Refill Penzance launched this May, to give locals and visitors to Penzance an easy and immediate way to avoid single-use plastic.

The collaboration between Plastic Free Penzance, Sustainable PZ and Penzance Council came about after queries to Plastic Free Penzance asking why there wasn’t a dedicated Refill Shop in the town where people could do the weekly shop, and as the existing community water refill scheme looked to expand to public water fountains.

Community Lead at Plastic Free PZ, Rachel Yates, said:

“At first we thought: ‘Yes, why isn’t there a trendy refill shop? Of all the places there should be one, surely Penzance is it?’ Then we thought again and realised that there isn’t a dedicated refill shop because the town already had refill covered … and has done for years.

“We have so many independent businesses in town who offer refills – from water and takeaway coffee to cleaning products, health & beauty and food shop essentials. We realised the job wasn’t to focus on bringing a new refill shop to Penzance, but to simply shout about and support the businesses we already have.”

The plans for a campaign to raise awareness and support local businesses offering refill coincided with the national Refill App widening its remit to include things like weekly essentials and takeaways. So the team decided it made sense link up and get more PZ businesses on the global app, with the intention again that the can be more easily found by locals and visitors.

Funding from Penzance Council has also enabled awareness raising through local posters and window cards, a social media campaign and an upgrade to the interactive map & business directory on the Sustainable PZ and Plastic Free PZ websites to maximise visibility. The scheme is a continuation of both of those organisations’ work to help protect the environment and enable people to live in a less impactful way, while supporting the local economy.

Penzance Town Mayor, Cllr Jonathan How, said:

“Penzance Council unanimously declared a Climate Emergency in April 2019 and is committed to leading change in our local community for a more sustainable parish for the future.

“Plastic is threatening the world’s oceans and sea life, and we have all seen the on-going issue of single use plastic (SUP) water bottles as they repeatedly wash up on our local beaches.

“But this is about more than just plastic. The Refill Penzance Scheme will bring together and promote all the businesses in the town centre who are already offering refills to make it more visible and accessible to locals and visitors alike.”

Here’s how it works:

  1. Check out the Refill PZ map to see businesses involved and what’s on offer
  2. Download the Refill App to search on the fly. You can use it across the rest of the UK (in fact the world) to find refill locations
  3. Look out for window cards and posters in shops to indicate they offer refill
  4. Choose to refill water and coffee instead of using single-use bottles and cups
  5. Switch up the weekly shop and buy goods on refill instead of single-use wrapped
  6. Check out our wider Plastic Free Champion Business Directory to see where else you can shop in PZ to reduce plastic
  7. Spread the word to friends and family

The Refill PZ launch comes as work to bring public water fountains to the town picks up pace. In addition to public points being made available at Jubilee Pool and PZ Sailing Club, Plastic Free Penzance have also been liaising with local organisation ‘Our Only W’orld to support a funding bid to bring a water fountains made from recycled ghost fishing gear to the town. Humphry Davy School registered an interest and are now talking with the charity to get the outdoor refill point installed for pupils.

Penzance Council has also agreed, alongside supporting the community refill scheme, to scope out public water fountains on its property, which could possibly see points installed in places like Penlee Park and the Skate Park.

Claire Whitton from Sustainable PZ said:

“Refill is the ultimate action we can take to tackle on plastic pollution and the growing waste mountain. We cannot beach or street clean our way out of the problem. Recycling is a great first step but it doesn’t tackle the root cause either and uses massive resources, with lots of materials difficult or impossible to recycle still.

“Refill solves the problem of plastic pollution and other waste at source. If we don’t use single-use items and packaging in the first place, we don’t have to get rid of them.”

If your business would like to join the scheme please email [email protected]

INFO FOR EDITORS:

COVID INFO: If you’d like more on the safety of refill and reuse click here

For more info on Refill PZ contact Rachel on [email protected]

For more info on Penzance Council’s Climate Action Plan go here 

For more info on Sustainable PZ go here: www.sustainablepz.co.uk

For more info on Plastic Free PZ go here: www.plasticfreepz.co.uk

For more info on the SAS Plastic Free Communities campaign go here: www.plasticfree.org.uk

Penzance Joins the Million Mile Clean

Plastic Free Penzance celebrate a return to community clean ups with a beach clean at Long Rock this Sunday. The clean, based from the Hoxton Special, will clock up miles and collect plastic pollution as part of the nationwide Million Mile Clean campaign from Surfers Against Sewage.

After a winter of restrictions due to Covid, Plastic Free PZ says it can’t wait to get back out on the beaches as it re-launches its community clean programme.

The grassroots action group, which is working to tackle single-use plastic in the town, has had to put a hold on its public events for the best part of 15 months. In that time individuals and families were urged to pick up plastic pollution from the coast and green spaces while on walks and taking regular exercise. The call was answered and the group says it’s been blown away by the support and action from locals to keep blue and green spaces clean.


Now the group is finally able to hold a community clean, it is teaming up with Surfers Against Sewage and The Hoxton Special to hold a ‘Million Mile Clean’. The national campaign aims to get 10,000 volunteers cleaning a million miles of UK coast and landscape by the end of the year.

Surfers Against Sewage say: “This campaign reflects and celebrates a national mood of hope and optimism as the country emerges from a dark winter spent in lockdown. Now more than ever, it is crucial for us all to reconnect with the outdoors and the Million Mile Clean provides an opportunity for you to prioritise your health whilst also creating a positive impact on your environment.”

Plastic Free PZ said: “We’re pleased to be able to get back out on the beach with our community events, which don’t only benefit the environment but also provide chance for people to meet, chat and feel part of something positive.

“Clean gloves and kit will be provided but people wanting to come along can bring their own gloves and bags if they prefer. It’s just brilliant to be able to get back out and we’re looking forward to more beach clean events across the rest of the year as we contribute to the Million Mile Clean”

So far 575,000 miles have been committed to the national SAS campaign, with Penzance already holding a clean last weekend at Wherrytown and planning more over the coming months.

You can join this weekend’s clean by heading to the Hoxton Special for 10am on Saturday 29th May. Groups are asked to keep numbers to no more than 6 and children under 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Plastic Free PZ are also looking for a volunteer to co-ordinate future beach cleans – if you are interested in getting involved contact Rachel on [email protected]

Notes for Editors:
For more info contact Rachel Yates on  [email protected]

Find out more about Plastic Free Penzance here: https://www.facebook.com/plasticfreepenzance/?ref=bookmarks

And here: www.plasticfreepz.co.uk

Find out more about Surfers Against Sewage Million Mile Clean here: www.sas.org.uk

Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities
Plastic Free Communities exist to free where we live from single-use. They bring people together on a journey to tackle avoidable single-use plastic, from the beach all the way back to the businesses and brands who create it. It’s not about removing all plastic from our lives. It’s about kicking our addiction to throwaway single-use plastic, and changing the system that produces it.

Post Lockdown Tips

After what feels like a never-ending winter filled with lockdowns, stressful uncertainty, and the pandemic looming over us, it’s safe to say we’ve never been more excited about the summer. As the national restrictions begin to ease and we can start bringing some normality back to our lives, it’s important to think about how this is going to affect the environment.

As much as we’re excited to get back out into nature, see our friends and enjoy the simple delights of a BBQ or family gathering, we are also already devastated to see the effect plastic pollution is having on the coast with overflowing bins and plastic floating in the clean blue sea that we’ve been blessed with this last couple of weeks.

So here are our top tips on how to enjoy post lockdown life and protect the environment at the same time. Because you CAN have it all!

Keeping Beaches Clean

With summer just in sight, everyone is looking forward to getting to the coast and enjoying some much needed Vitamin Sea. As much as we love the beach, we want to keep the coastlines clean and keep plastic pollution to a minimum.

Our top tips for a clean beach:

Take a packed lunch – if you are taking food to the beach, try to pack a lunch in reusable containers that you can take home after. That way you won’t have leftover plastic to carry around or have to dispose of.

Bring a bag for rubbish/recycling – if you are buying food in packaging, make sure to bring a bag to take your rubbish home to properly recycle.

Do a #minibeachclean – the beach is definitely a place where we want to sit back and relax, but if you make it a rule to pick up three bits of plastic whilst you’re there, then you’re reducing the amount of plastic going into the ocean that day. Make it a ritual to do a mini beach clean every time you go to help keep the coast and ocean clean.

If you want to find out more about being responsible at the beach, Surfer’s Against Sewage have launched a handy Responsible Beach Guide.

Shop Local

With many local businesses being hit hard from the impact of the past year, with some likely to struggle to financially recover, so more than ever it’s important that we support local shops and stores where we can.

As shops start to properly open in the next few months, you could switch up your usual supermarket shop by exploring local stores instead. There is an excellent selection of shops to buy locally grown fruit and veg, as well as local, high quality meat and fish. We have over 130 Plastic Free Champions in Penzance, so opting or one of those means you’re less likely to walk away with single use plastic in your bag and you’re also supporting our local economy.

The supermarkets will survive. Let’s make sure local families and businesses do too. Get details on our champs here and check back regularly as we’re always updating.

Reduce Single Use Plastic

Whilst we might have got used to spending time with our households only, restrictions will start to ease soon and we will be able to enjoy events with family and friends (hooray!). As much as we’re looking forward to the freedom of group gatherings again, it’s important that we remain mindful of our plastic usage at events and in the home.

Try to reuse and refill as much as possible. At Plastic Free Champion stores like Archie Browns, The Weigh Inn and The Granary, you can not only reduce buying plastic bottles and containers, but you can also refill and bulk buy products to save money as well.

Remember that recycling the packaging from BBQ’s and gatherings is integral to lowering the amount of plastic that we have going up in flames in Cornwall’s incinerator every day. If you’re confused about what you can and can’t recycle, then you can read more in our recycling and reuse blog post here.

Enjoy It!

One of the benefits of lockdown has been a renewed sense of place and lots of people getting out and about to connect with our beautiful environment, be it walking, swimming, cycling, watersports, foraging, wildlife trials … so much that we have been able to enjoy for free on our doorstep during restrictions.

Research has shown that as a result we all feel we want to do more to protect the environment. So let’s do just that! Post lockdown freedom and celebrations don’t need to mean that we forget the importance of what’s kept many of us going through this. Reduce single use plastic, refill, reuse and rethink … and have a blimmin’ lovely time!

 

How to recycle … so you make a real difference

Although recycling may be the norm in UK households, it’s shocking that there are still a fraction of homes that choose not to recycle their waste. With home schooling and working from home meaning we’re filling up bins faster than usual, more than ever it’s important that we all make a conscious effort to reduce the waste going to Cornwall’s incinerator.

If you are already recycling (Huzzah!), do you find yourself still confused about exactly what items we can and cannot put in our recycling bins? You’re not alone. According to organisation WRAP, on average, UK households dispose of 1.5 items that could be recycled in the general rubbish (including foil, aerosols and plastic detergent or cleaning bottles). With different materials and new products in our shopping trolley every week, it’s difficult to keep up!

We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful part of the country, and at Plastic Free Penzance, we want to work towards clean beaches, streets and green spaces. This means less going out in the bin to be burnt in the incinerator and more in our recycling bags.

However, as important to the planet as recycling is, reducing the products we consume and waste, and reusing as much as we can, is something that we all need to start seriously thinking about. If we were all able to Reduce, Reuse and Rethink our consumption, then this is a massive step in the right direction to helping save the planet.

If you’re not sure about the recycling process in Cornwall and you’re uncertain about what items belong where, then we’ve laid out a simple guide to help you separate your recycling from your general waste, it’s super easy and requires a small effort for a big gain.

Image: Cornwall Recycles

How to Recycle in Cornwall

Order some handy containers

If you haven’t got any already, then the first step is to request recycling boxes and bags from www.cornwall.gov.uk. The online form takes two seconds and the boxes will be delivered straight to your door, free of charge. If you find the boxes are not enough, you can request additional storage boxes to suit your needs. You can fill out the hassle free form here.

Find out when your pick up day is

Don’t be THAT neighbour who forgets recycling day! Find out when the pick up day/time is for your specific area online by searching on this easy to use database. Set a reminder on your phone so you get into the habit of doing it. After a few weeks it will be second nature.

Know your bags

All bags and containers should be labelled, but make sure you know what item goes where. It’s pretty simple but here’s a reminder:

  • Orange bag – Cardboard (this includes wrapping paper and brown paper but you’ll need to remove any staples, sticky tape and plastic bags.)
  • Red Bag – Household Metal and Plastics (i.e drink cans, food tins, plastic bottles, tubs and trays)
  • Blue Bag – Paper (including newspapers, magazines and envelopes)
  • Black Box – Glass Bottles and Jars (unfortunately this cannot include broken glass so dispose of this safely in your general waste)

Note: Textiles (such as clean, dry clothing, towels and sheets) can also be recycled if placed on top of the black box in a plastic bag to keep them dry

Keeping it clean

Smelly bottles outside your house all week doesn’t seem that appealing anyway, so ensure that all containers are thoroughly washed before going into recycling otherwise they may not be able to be used again.

Use those green fingers!

If you’re already into gardening, then why not get a compost bin for the garden? Transforming your kitchen and garden waste is a cheap and easy way to feed your plants. Composting is great for the environment even if you don’t use it for your garden as it saves on waste going to incineration, saving money and resources. Food waste will soon be collected from your home. You can find out more about composting on the Recycle Now website.

Have recycling or waste that can’t be picked up?

If you’ve got a lot of waste or recycling that will be too much for your recycling or materials that can’t be taken by the council, then you can visit one of the 14 Household Waste and Recycling points in Cornwall. Check before you visit, as there might be charges for depositing certain materials.

Pick the REAL Solution – and Reuse

As well as recycling our goods, it’s also important that as a community, we try to improve the throwaway culture. There are many small changes each individual or household could make in order to cut their plastic footprint. We’ve laid out some tips to inspire you to think the next time you’re shopping, ordering a coffee or cooking at home. So here we look at Reuse ,,, and what you can do

Buy refillable cups and bottles

Invest in a refill bottle for as little as £2 and get a decent refill hot drinks cup. You’ll not only be saving money on plastic water bottles, but coffee shops usually offer a discount if you have your own cup. Plus you’ll be saving a millions ( yes MILLIONS) of bottles and cups going into landfill, incineration or ending up in the environment each day.

Use ‘tupperware’ and reusable wraps

Instead of reaching for the cling film or silver foil, invest in some lasting plastic or stainless steel tubs for your sandwiches. Other options such as paper or beeswax wrap are a great way to wrap your food, time and time again too. Check out Hobbs Kitchen shop in town for a few ideas if you don’t already have some neglected storage tubs lying around the kitchen.

Switch to refillable bottles (or no bottles at all) for the bathroom

The beauty industry has never been so booming with ‘essentials’, coming in bottles and packets of all shapes and sizes. If your beauty regime has got out of hand, then why not consider switching to a bar of soap/shampoo or getting top ups at refill shops? Say goodbye to buying endless plastic bottles every week, and reduce your waste in the bathroom. Pure Nuff Stuff have some excellent beauty products on hand and Archie Browns do refills and have plastic free options of all the essentials.

Make your own cleaning products

There are so many different commercial cleaning products these days, filled with toxic chemicals and wrapped in elaborate plastic packaging. So ever thought about making your own at home? From baking soda to white vinegar and lemon juice, there are many natural ingredients available to use in your DIY cleaning products. You’ll be saving on plastic waste and harmful chemicals going down the drain. Just do an online search for ‘recipes’ and look out for our community workshops.

Think about reusable period products

Tampons and period pads get flushed into the ocean every day and are detrimental to the plastic pollution crisis. So consider switching to reusable options. From cups to period pants, there are plenty to try so you can find one that suits you. Find out more about the alternatives here.

Ditch nappies

We’ve said it before, but disposable nappies can take up to a shocking 500 years to break down. With millions and millions used everyday, why not consider switching to reusable nappies instead? Check out The Cornish Real Nappy Library and UK Nappy Network for all you need to know.

Plastic Free Money Saving Hacks

How Going Plastic Free Saves Cash as well as the Planet

Covid-19 has turned all our lives upside down and as well as posing challenges around physical, mental and emotional health, it’s been a difficult time for many of us financially. The uncertainty, being on furlough, job risks, closed businesses … well, the list seems endless right now. We know that being careful with our wallets and trying to be prepared is probably at the forefront of a lot of minds at the moment, so it might not seem the best time to transform your home into an eco-friendly haven.

If you have been meaning to make some plastic free swaps in your everyday life, but you’re worried that it might cost you more each month, then it might be good to know that you could actually SAVE money and reduce your single-use plastic consumption at the same time. Intrigued? We’ve outlined some simple tips below that might surprise you.

Refill

Never pay for water again! Tap water is free and perfectly safe to drink. There are an abundance of refillable bottles available these days, with some available to purchase from as little as £2. With a standard 500ml branded water bottle usually costing around 50p, you will have paid for your reusable bottle within just four uses.

If you’re also a regular at your local cafe, then bringing your reusable cup can get up to 50p off your hot drink every time. If you buy coffee five days a week, then it will save you £15 a month and almost £170 per year! Definitely worth the purchase. Check out all our Plastic Free Champion cafe’s here to see where you can get some refill love.

Worried about Refill because of Covid? At no point has refill been banned or ruled unsafe. You can get more info here on the safety of refill and reuse and check out the brilliant Contactless Coffee campaign here, which many of our plastic free champs are adopting.

Buy Smart …

… buy less. A few changes to our purchases can save waste and money, and there are some quick easy wins. For example, swap to a jar of coconut oil which acts as a body moisturiser, make up remover, deep hair conditioning treatment and hard skin softener. Ditch things like laundry water, spray air fresheners and other multiple cleaning products for one or two brilliant all rounders. (More tips on cleaning here)

Another thing to ask is – do I really need this? And what will happen to its packaging when I’m done with it? What can be reused, repaired or repurposed to save cash and waste?

Switch to Reusable Period Products

Let’s be honest, we’d all love it if periods didn’t exist, but unfortunately they do and the impact they have on plastic pollution is detrimental. A shocking 200,000 tonnes of period product waste is land filled each year in the UK; but there is something you can do.

Ditching disposables and switching to reusable products saves around £1700 over a lifetime, plus you’ll know that you weren’t adding to the landfill every year. Many of the alternatives are so much easier and leak free too. Get more info here 

Return Used Containers

You’d be surprised at how many of our favourite businesses and brands run a recycling scheme, offering customers the chance to return old products for a free item. Make sure to check as you might be pleasantly surprised! Make-up brands are a good thing to check as well as hair care products. And you can do this at some of our local plastic free champions … including Archie Browns who take in supplement jars and Hellcat Hair who can send on containers and other hair care waste.

Sack off Disposable Nappies

Nappies are a serious hazard to the environment. Not only do over 8 million disposables get thrown out every day, the plastic ridden materials can take up to 500 years to break down. Compostable versions are not a solution, many needing to go to special facilities to break down and if it goes in the bin in Cornwall it all ends up being burnt in the county’s waste incinerator anyway.

With a variety of reusable nappies out there to purchase now, you won’t just be saving hundreds (or even thousands) of nappies adding to the waste, you could save up to £1,475 over two and a half years until your child is potty trained.

You can get more info here and connect with our local Nappy Library and support group here

 

Take a Packed Lunch 

Maybe not so relevant right now with many of us working at home … but have you noticed how much cash you’ve saved by not buying lunch each day? It may save a few minutes on a morning but the (very expensive) habit of buying lunch in single use packaging everyday has a huge impact on the environment.

Take your average meal deal of £3 a day, that’s a saving of £60 a month already … and if you’re throwing weekend food on the go into the mix you can save over a thousand pound a year for the sake of grabbing a reuseable tin or box and using tupperware to pack your own. It’s a great way to avoid food waste too by boxing up leftovers for lunch the next day. We obviously encourage treats days! Make sure you support our local plastic free champion cafes and outlets for the Friday splurge, or whenever you fancy a takeout, who will make sure your lunch is packed responsibly.

If you’ve made any of these money saving changes recently, we’d love to hear how you are getting on and if you’ve noticed a difference! You can tag us on on Insta and Facebook.

Surviving the Transition Period

We get it, like many others wanting to be more mindful about the environment, you’ve managed to make some impressive swaps to detox your plastic usage in the home, but there’s one area you’re struggling with; your body.

If you’re thinking about taking the natural leap of faith with your body products, but feel overwhelmed with the mixed reviews and tips, we can offer a little guidance to help kick start your journey to eco-friendly self-care.

We’re not experts by any means, but speaking from experience the Plastic Free Penzance team has pulled together some top tips if you’re ready to help eliminate toxins and chemicals from your morning routine for good.

Allow some time for trial and error 

After years of using all sorts of chemicals on your hair and skin, your body simply isn’t used to relying on its natural balance. Everyone’s hair or skin type is different, so your journey to a natural beauty regime isn’t going to happen overnight, but hopefully it won’t be long before you’re on the road to feeling like the eco-warrior you aspire to be!

Allow some time to experiment with different products that work for you. Try different ingredients and buy products in small quantities at first so if it doesn’t suit your skin or hair type, move on to something else. For some local products, Pure Nuff Stuff and Archie Browns in town both offer affordable refills and bars to test out at home.

There are an abundance of options online as well, from sustainable and natural deodorants that come in cardboard packaging or reusable tins with refills, to refillable shampoos, bars and facial products.

Yes, there might be a ‘transition’ stage, but hold out and it will be SO worth it!

We’ve touched on finding the right products for you, however it is also important to remember that it might take some time for your skin and hair to adjust to the ingredients free of chemical preservatives and synthetic additives. For both your hair and your armpits (if you’re switching to a natural deodorant), when you stop using chemicals, your body is starting to detox and self-regulate on a natural cycle.

For hair, this can cause a waxy-like feel from the shampoo bars, hair that gets greasy quickly or seeming brittle and dry. With deodorant, you might sweat more or get a bit smellier than usual. Some people might not experience a ‘transition’ period at all, however if you do then fear not, after a few weeks this stage should pass and you’ll be back to a healthier, more naturally balanced state.

Be mindful, that hard and soft water can affect the product you are using on your hair, so this should also be taken into consideration when shopping for shampoo bars and natural options.

With most of us working from home, there’s no time like the present right?!

If you’ve been wanting to take action but have been a bit time poor, then why not use lockdown as a great excuse to start experimenting at home with different, naturally produced products that won’t add to the nasty stuff we flush into the sea every day.

With more people working from home and spending less time outside, why not make this your lockdown challenge and finally say goodbye to harmful toxins, chemicals and not to mention the plastic waste that comes with them.

So overall, try not to give up in the first few weeks. Leave some time for adjusting and get experimenting!

We’d love to hear about your journey to a natural self-care routine, so please feel free to tag us on Insta and Facebook.

Plastic Detox: Lockdown Tips

January. Your jeans are too tight, you’ve spent your entire month’s wages already, and the pressure is on to make this year better than the one before (at least on the latter, the bar was set pretty low by 2020!) We may be in another Lockdown, but we’re here and armed with some tips which aim to make the most of depleted funds, allow you to detox without giving up chocolate (phew), and also take positive action while we all stay at home. Best of all it’s positive action that benefits the ocean, green spaces and our health & wellbeing.

So here are our lockdown tips for a Plastic Detox at home. We’d love to hear your ideas and any changes you’ve made on Facebook and Insta to help inspire the whole community.

Bathroom Basics

  • When starting to think about going plastic free in the home, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. Which is why it’s best to start small. The bathroom is the perfect place to start making some simple adjustments:Use soap and shampoo bars rather than bottled products. Responsibly sourced bars avoid plastic bottles completely and are made of natural ingredients which mean we’re also not flushing loads of chemicals into the water system and ultimately out to sea. Bars last longer, saving money, and if you’re worried about them leaving you with dry skin and lanky hair … lockdown is the perfect time for trial and error until you find the right one for your skin and hair! It’s really common to go through a transition phase – especially with shampoo bars. So don’t write them off straight away. Pure Nuff Stuff in PZ have some tips on coping with that here
  • If bars aren’t for you, there is another option. Refill! Archie Browns offer a range of refill products including soap, shampoo and conditioner. All natural products so again no chemicals down the drain – but a little transition to go through. Or if you have a bit more cash to splash, salons such as Hellcat Hair and Second Glance also offer salon grade product refills.
  • It’s easy to say use a flannel instead of make up wipes, but if you wear mascara you’ll know, this isn’t a solution unless you’d like a sore face. Opt for washable microfibre make-up removal pads instead and wash and reuse time and time again. They’ll remove mascara simply using water and leave your skin feeling fab
  • Period Products are becoming tax free which will make them cheaper, but sadly they come at a cost to the environment. Did you know that a pack of big brand period pads contains five carrier bags worth of plastic? The good news is that there are a whole host of plastic free products on the market which are effective, save tonnes of cash and also tonnes of throwaway plastic. From period pants to washable pads, moon cups and plastic free tampons there really is something for everyone. And lockdown is a great opportunity to try out what works for you. Get more info and here:

Finance Fact: By switching to reusable period products you could save around £1700 over your lifetime!

Kitchen Kit

This is possibly the worst place in our homes for single use plastic and waste. But if we start small we’re more likely to succeed with changing our habits long term. Once you’re comfortable with one small change it won’t be long before you’re unconsciously adapting to plenty more plastic free and eco alternatives! Here’s a few simple and cost effective places to start:

  • Shop local for fruit and veg. We know it’s efficient to head to the supermarket to get everything in one go. But it’s also nearly impossible to avoid single use plastics. We love to shop at our local plastic free champions such as Thornes and The Granary for fruit and veg. You can take a cardboard box or tote bag along and stock up on everything you need whilst avoiding plastic wrap and saving on packaging costs. You can also achieve the same by choosing your local farm shop, signing up to a local veg box scheme, or opting for plastic free veggies wherever you get your shopping.
  • It’s time to reuse jars and containers again and again with refill cereal, flour, pasta rice, custard powder! … well anything you can bulk buy in plastic free champion stores like Archie Browns, The Weigh Inn and The Granary. Not only do you avoid packaging altogether, but bulk buying can encourage a bit of creativity in the kitchen, as you find new ways to use that jar of lentils or herbs.
  • Cancel Clingfilm. We know clingfilm is super useful, but it’s also a major cause of microplastics in our oceans. There are plenty of alternatives for the home which we think do the job just as well. Reuse takeaway tubs and other containers to store food, get smaller pots to use inside packed lunch boxes, use paper or beeswax wrap and you can also get all sorts of toppers now for bowls and plates to store food. Check out Hobbs Kitchen shop in town for a few ideas – but there’s also plenty of options to reuse existing containers and kit around the kitchen.
  • Standard washing up sponges and scourers are not only made of synthetic materials that pollute our water, they’re also not biodegradable. Thankfully, there are many other alternatives out there. You can buy scourers and washing up brushes made from a natural coconut fibre, washable cleaning cloths and even an eco-friendly washing up Loofah. There’s plenty of affordable alternatives on offer in town to make the switch.

Bedroom Antics

The bedroom doesn’t seem like a culprit for single use but what about all those clothes in the wardrobe ordered online and delivered in plastic bags? More and more we are learning that the fashion industry is having a detrimental impact on our environment so we’re using this space to talk about our clothes.

  • With a throwaway culture the norm these days when it comes to fashion, we need to remind ourselves that we can be more responsible with our fashion choices. Vintage shops, charity bargains and a good old clothes swap are excellent ways to get some new clothes for your wardrobe. Happy Dais Vintage shop and Black Jacket Vintage in Penzance are great stores to start your pre-loved shopping journey.
  • Instead of buying new, can you mend and refurbish rather than replacing and sending to landfill? There are ways to get creative with your clothes and take up a new lockdown hobby, adding patches onto ripped jeans or embroidery to ripped sleeves, darning socks, sewing up splits … Red Rose Textiles and Buttons & Bows are good for material and kit.
  • Think cyclical when shopping. Could you rent clothing for a special event, or borrow from a friend? Mix and match your wardrobe with friends and family to brighten up your fashion style.
  • Choose sustainable and local Cornish clothing brands, who will deliver using responsible packaging and it won’t have travelled too far! Check out where products are made and how. It tends to be a bit more pricey, but quality lasts and there will be plenty of sales on in January so you can finally create that capsule wardrobe designed to last a lifetime!
  • Finally, washing our clothes is a big factor that can affect the environment. If possible, switch from washing clothes after wearing them once to a few or several times to save on water use and chemicals. Try to avoid micro plastic capsules too. Laundry Eggs actually replace detergent and fabric softeners altogether, cleaning clothes with mineral pellets and no harmful chemicals. You can also still with laundry liquid and conditioner on a refill basis from Archie Browns and if you do still want to buy traditional products opt for cardboard boxes or bulk buy to reduce plastic.

Finance Fact: We have ten BILLION pounds worth of unworn clothes in our wardrobes.

Office Etiquette

With more and more of us working from home, we thought it would be useful to come up with some simple home office tips which help keep your home a plastic free haven.

  • Find alternatives to plastic pens such as refill pens or just swap to the humble pencil for when a pen isn’t needed. There are some treat refill pens in No 56 on Chapel Street but you can also find options online.
  • Avoid Coffee Capsules. Whilst some brands offer a return and recycle scheme with their capsules, most are difficult to recycle and will end up being burnt in Cornwall’s incinerator. The aficionado way would be to bulk buy coffee beans on refill from Mr Billy’s or Lavenders and grind them into servings. You can also get refill loose tea and coffee in town and if funds need watching, swapping to a pack of ground coffee from the supermarket is still massively reducing your plastic bootprint.
  • Now, this may not seem to be about plastic, but we say – go paperless. The reason? It not only saves trees but avoids the need for ring-binders, plastic wallets, plastic paper clips, thumb tacks, blue tac…the list goes on. Make your to-do list online or on your phone or you can share it with a cloud server if you like, and you’ll be able to access it anywhere!

Agence Olloweb

We’re in tricky times and a winter lockdown needs a whole load of extra ‘dig deep’. But it can also be a time to reflect and make a few changes, remembering – as with anything else – to be kind and realistic, making change at a pace for you so that it becomes an actual lifestyle choice and not just a one off. Making even just one of these changes will have a positive impact. Let us know how you get on 🙂

 

PZ proves it’s still possible to go plastic free, despite Covid-19

Penzance, the first ever community in the UK to be awarded ‘Plastic Free’ status by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage, celebrates another year of success despite Covid-19; signing up 20 new Plastic Free Champions in the town and engaging new businesses that are avoiding single use plastic from the get go. 

Acknowledging another year of Plastic Free Communities accreditation, Plastic Free Penzance has continued to encourage businesses and individuals to reduce single use plastic during the pandemic, offering guidance and raising awareness of refill and reuse through initiatives such as the national #ContactlessCoffee campaign, a revival of their Simple Swaps series and continuing the popular PackSwap PZ scheme.

Surfers Against Sewage created the initial five step Plastic Free Communities Toolkit to encourage communities to start tackling single use plastic at source. Working with business owners on their day to day environmental impact is a central part of the campaign. Originally only requiring 12 businesses to pledge to cut out three single use plastic items, the initiative in Penzance now boasts the support of 130 local businesses and is now the first community to complete the new SAS post accreditation toolkit, to deepen actions around single-use plastic.

The arrival of Covid-19 was a test of the seaside town’s resolve, but a range of independents proved even more determined to keep their businesses as plastic free as possible. Those such as the Weigh Inn, Archie Browns, The Granary, Harvey’s Butchers, Thornes and the Little Greengrocer stuck to their plastic free principles  by continuing to offer refill, reuse and plastic free options. Cafes and restaurants opted for plastic free takeaway packaging and food displays, and continued to offer refill water and coffee; with Waves Cafe Bar and The Frontroom sticking to their ban of single-use coffee cups.

Rachel Gunderson from The Honey Pot saidRemaining plastic-free despite the pandemic requires a little thought and forward planning and a lot of determination to ignore the pressures forced upon us, but it is something that everyone can achieve with the right support. We’ve made sure to encourage staff to wear reusable fabric masks, we buy sanitiser in large refill packs and top up ceramic bottles we can wipe clean and have even moved away from individual menus.”

It’s not only existing businesses that are making a stand. New start-ups are deciding to make their business single use plastic free from the very start, such as ‘Beige Doughnuts’ created by foodie Jessica Davies. 

She saidSustainability has been at the core of my business ethos since the beginning. Adopting a vegan lifestyle 8 years ago and starting a vegan business last year, for me was not just about the animals, but also about the devastating effects that animal agriculture is having on the planet. As well as my passion for veganism, I also wanted to make sure that plastic use was kept to a minimum and have been finding ways to make this work day to day.”

Research shows the pandemic has seen a rise in single-use waste, with some refill schemes being paused and single-use masks produced and sold in their billions. It was apparent that there was a marked increase in single use plastic pollution on streets and beaches, leading to the team working with Cornwall Council to try and push forward on-street recycling points as well as adding more bins along the coast path at Long Rock and Eastern Green.

The unnecessary explosion in single use plastic has also led Plastic Free PZ to up its calls for more refill points across the town. As a result ‘Refill PZ’ will launch in the New Year, thanks to funding from the Town Council, highlighting water and coffee refill points as well as where people can refill dried goods, cleaning products, bathroom products and much more.

Plastic Free PZ Community Lead Rachel Yates, said At no point has refill been banned during the pandemic, so it was important for us to let people know that and to reassure them that refill and reuse are safe. We’ve been so touched by the community’s determination to do what it can to avoid reverting to single use plastic. 

 

“There was an understandable knee jerk, given we’ve all been convinced plastic is the only option. But we want to say a massive thank you to all of those people, businesses and schools who looked into the situation and saw that there are alternatives, which don’t lead to masses of plastic pollution.”

Armed with the slogan that Covid is ‘No Excuse for Single Use’, Plastic Free Penzance have also ramped up efforts to engage the community. Not only have they organised socially distanced beach cleans and helped gather evidence for Surfers Against Sewage on the brand names polluting the town, they’ve used social media to encourage people to opt for reusable face masks and shared valuable information –  via a local directory – on businesses who continue to be Plastic Free Champions, even during the pandemic.

Not letting 2020 hold them back, the team are now engaging with MP Derek Thomas on The Plastic Pollution Bill, which is due its second reading in early 2021.

Mr Thomas said:Despite all the restrictions we’ve been under this year, Plastic Free Penzance has maintained its momentum and managed to keep people involved in the vital job of reducing our use of plastic. They have continued to hold well-attended street and beach cleans (bravely combining them with a bracing sea swim on occasion), run an innovative Packswap scheme to help re-use plastic packaging and promote a number of campaigns through their informative Facebook page.

 

The group is also very good at keeping up engagement with town bodies like the Town Council and the town’s Placeshaping group, which all help to ensure that the Plastic Free ideal is kept at the forefront of the conversation.”

You can find out more about what Plastic Free Penzance are up to on Facebook

For any press enquiries contact: [email protected].

Surfers Against Sewage: Plastic Free Communities

Plastic Free Communities exist to free where we live from single-use. They bring people together on a journey to tackle avoidable throwaway plastic, from the beach all the way back to the businesses and brands who create it. It’s not about removing all plastic from our lives. It’s about kicking our addiction to throwaway single-use plastic, and changing the system that produces it.

Join us and let’s free where we live from single-use, one plastic bottle at a time