Who Is Pat Smith?
A creative genius with an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything there is to do in Cornwall, Pat Smith aka Action Nan, Nanny Pat has always been at one with nature, creating and managing her Cornwall Sustainability Award winning business at Bosinver.
You can sometimes find Pat in the office at Bosinver, but these day’s she’s often out and about with her grandchildren, exploring Cornwall, on a litter pick or beach clean or hosting an event for Final Straw Cornwall!
As her alter ego Action Nan she also completed a charity challenge 300 mile walk around the entire Cornish coastline in aid of the RNLI! So being active and determined to make a change for good is part and parcel of her personality. So it was only a matter of time before Pat set up her own campaign to tackle the plastic pollution and climate crisis that we find ourselves in today.
“I started the Final Straw campaign with the aim of encouraging individuals to refuse plastic straws when offered and businesses to join us and commit to not provide any other straws other than paper ones. Using this as an entry level on the road to raising awareness of the issue of single use plastic pollution to the general public, I feel excited and enthusiastic about encouraging behaviour change in a wider group of people than my fellow environment embracing counterparts.”
Why Set Up Final Straw Cornwall?
Final Straw Cornwall was launched in the summer of 2017. Pat explains her passion for the cause and the sense of responsibility she feels:
“I founded the Final Straw to try and raise awareness of the catastrophic damage we are doing to our oceans from our casual consumption of single use plastics. I feel I have a responsibility to my children and grandchildren to do something about it.”
Pat is acutely aware that it is her generation that has created most of the 88 billion tonnes of plastic produced since 1948 and still existing on the Earth today. The mission is simple, make Cornwall plastic straw free. To do that, Pat and her dedicated team of volunteers manage and fuel the campaign with pure passion and the aim to engage with local businesses across the hospitality and tourist sector to give up plastic straws.
“I have been aware of the issue of single use plastics for some time whilst doing local beach cleans but watching the film ‘A Plastic Ocean’ in March 2017 made me realise the scale of the problem that I had helped create. It matters because I have children and grandchildren and it bothers me that the legacy I am potentially leaving to them is polluted Oceans devoid of marine life.”