FAQs

If you are a business who has joined the campaign, then use our logo by all means, for all other uses please email us. You can download it here:

Sometimes we can – but only normally in Cornwall – please email us!

 
 

We are a small team but yes we can try to come to your school if you are local – otherwise we know lots of other plastic campaigners and other charities who operate locally who can help. We can als provide materials and a slide show for school assemblies if we cannot attend in person so please contact us.

No – we are trying to campaign to reduce consumption and many of the so-called ‘eco-friendly’ products on the market are not as eco as they should be – there is nothing as good as plates and metal crockery washed in a dishwasher and that is how we would prefer all caterers to provide food!

No, we are a not for profit run by volunteers and we rely solely on donations to keep going! 

We are a team of three directors based in Cornwall.

1) Refuse plastic items when offered and ask businesses not to offer them.  You can carry your own re-usable cutlery, cups and bottles to make the point! (we even keep our own bottle of tomato sauce in the car for those sneaky fish and chip suppers at the beach – much better than getting a single use sachet!)

2) Only buy paper straws for parties. And then compost them. Straight in your compost bin. If you haven’t got a compost bin, add them to your cardboard recycling. That way you keep them in the loop. And stop them becoming part of the plastics pollution problem.

3)  Write or email larger national companies and supermarkets to ask them to think about changing away from plastic where you see it as unnecessary packaging

4) Contact bars and cafes in your own town, say you’re a customer, and that you’re looking for places to frequent with your mates that don’t use single use plastic items .

5) Ask your Councillor and MP to support plastic reduction initiatives

6) Join one of our beach cleans – find out more here

The business case for using less plastic is not just environmental.

There are compelling financial benefits too, including:

– Cost savings: Reducing the amount of waste your business produces will always save money and one business we know saved £100s a year by not giving out unnecessary straws anymore!

– Enhanced brand reputation – customers are on the look out for ethical brands

– Recognition by sustainable bodies, such as Green Tourism Awards

– More engaged employees

– Increased sales from eco-friendly customers

– AND the opportunity to shout about the positive changes you’ve mad

We recommend that all businesses carry bio-degradable papers straws as a back up for those that need them, but other alternatives are metal retractable straws which cost around £7 each and are ideal for personal use.

Reducing all waste is the key to being environmentally friendly. So no plastic item at all is the best option (with a supply of your own items like re-usable straws or cutlery as a back up for when a customer does really need to use one). You will SAVE MONEY by not giving away so much plastic! An added bonus is that you can feel good about helping to keep our beaches clean.

Compostable means it breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate similar to paper and breaks down into small pieces in about 90 days, so that you don’t even recognise the original item, and it leaves no toxic residue. Unfortunately many items that are marketed as ‘compostable’ are not unless they are put into industrial grade composters, and there are  none in Cornwall so most ‘compostable’ packaging goes straight to the incinerator in Cornwall.   

Biodegradable plastics are commonly used for single use takeaway containers, cutlery etc. Biodegradeable means that a product can be broken down WITHOUT oxygen and that it turns into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass within a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately items like this do not degrade in the way you would expect, especially if they end up in the sea. Many plastic items marketed as ‘bio-degradable’ take years to degrade, and can still cause major litter problems and problems in the waste stream when they are accidentally put in with recyclable plastics. So it is really important that bio-degradable plastic is handled separately. Read this report here: https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/uk-world-news/biodegradable-plastic-bags-can-still-2811382
There is no widely agreed standard for ‘Degradable plastics’ are usually petroleum based products that break up through chemical reactions in an anaerobic environment/ light/ oxygen into water, CO2, biomass and trace elements. They can affect the recyclable wast stream so must be disposed of normally with usual waste as they are not recycable.

What are ‘Degradable plastics’

Degradable plastics are petroleum based products that break up through chemical reactions in an anaerobic environment/ light/ oxygen into water, CO2, biomass and trace elements.

What are Biodegradable plastics?

  • Biodegradable means that a product can be broken down WITHOUT oxygen and that it turns into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass within a reasonable amount of time.

What does ‘Compostable’ mean?

  • Compostable means it breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate similar to paper and breaks down into small pieces in about 90 days, so that you don’t even recognise the original item, and it leaves no toxic residue.

Conclusion:

Single use products made from plants are better than single use products made from oil-based plastic, but no ‘single use’ product is the best solution of all! In addition anything that is made of ‘bio-plastic’ or says is degradable, compostable or bio-degradeable must go into normal waste collections in Cornwall as they is no way of recycling it here. This means this is a waste of expensive materials and they stil cause litter in the environment and sea when these items are not properly disposed of in the bin.

There are many reusable items on the market – cardboard, bamboo, glass and stainless steel, all of which you can be carried with you, washed and reused. These are the only items that we recommend as they are truly sustainable and re-usable.
Oceans are the largest ecosystems on earth, the Earth’s support system. They generate half the oxygen you breathe. More than 97% of the Earth’s water resides in Oceans. Oceans provide 1/6 of the animal protein people eat. They are the source of many new medicines to combat disease. Living oceans absorb harmful CO2 from the atmosphere and reduce the impact of climate change.
 

Good question. Plastic particles are now regularly found in the fish and shellfish we eat, so toxic chemicals are entering the human food chain with health implications. Not only that, but we all like to visit the sea if we can and we hope it’s going to be unpolluted when we do, so this is a problem for everyone in the UK whether you live near the sea or not! It is also worth remembering that all drains and sewers where litter often ends up, lead to the sea – so it is sometimes only a short amount of time before litter from inland finds its way to the sea. Whether it is cigarette butts, PPE or compostable cups, all waste needs to be disposed of properly – or, better yet, not made at all!

Remember plastic doesn’t decompose. It just breaks down into really small bits of plastic. Which end up in the beasts and birds, and then in us. All plastic that has ever been made still exists somewhere. Remember when we throw things ‘away’? There is not such thing as ‘away’. https://www.greenpeace.org/international/story/7281/every-single-piece-of-plastic-ever-made-still-exists-heres-the-story/
The plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles known as microplastics so they don’t ever actually degrade which causes a huge problem as they are then eaten by sea beasts and birds  which causes a 50% mortality rate. Some of those micro plastics are in the food chain in the fish and birds that we eat and that is not good for us either! We each eat up the equivalent of a whole credit card of plastic each year. Imagine what that plastic is doing whilst it is inside your body?
Even when plastics can be recycled, some people worry that doing so is even worse for the environment. Recycling paper and glass requires much less energy, so this is a concern more relevant to plastics. According to Prof Thomas Kinnaman, of Bucknell University in the US says ’recycling plastic uses roughly double the energy, labour and machinery necessary to put it in landfill’

And all recycling has some environmental costs, (including more vehicles on the road collecting waste and taking it to be recycled.. Best not to use it! 

There are more than 50 different types of plastics, making it more difficult to sort and reprocess than other materials and some can’t be recycled together as they melt at different temperatures

Nearly all types of plastics can be recycled, but the extent to which they are depends on factors such as whether the technology is available in the area you live.
Many recycling collections in the UK have focused on key packaging types, for example plastic bottles, which are heavier than most other plastics and therefore relatively easy to sort.

Often plastics can consist of more than one polymer type, which makes it more difficult to recycle.

Once plastic items are contaminated by food waste they cannot be put in recycling unless washed first. Even then, if they are black) they cannot be recycled anyway. Unfortunately as so many single use plastic items used in the hospitality sector are so small and lightweight (sauce sachets, cutlery, PPE) they frequently drop through the sorting screens, contaminate other recycling and are scattered by the wind to become litter. So the best thing is to avoid them. The risk of them causing damage in the environment then goes down to zero.

Single use is just that. It’s just used once. It means it’s “disposable”. Disposable plastic is used only once often for as little as 20 minutes before being thrown away. Items include such items as straws, takeaway coffee cups, cotton buds, plastic bags, plastic water bottles and most food packaging. We need to break this plastic habit!
It is used once then thrown away – an almost completely pointless use of valuable resources. Yes, PPE is currently necessary for purposes of reducing COVID transmission but cloth face masks are as good as single use and some ‘plastic’ sterile gloves are now recyclable.
 
Did you know that plastic straws are used once for about 20 seconds, but each plastic straw will be around in the ground or in the sea for over 100 years – all for the sake of a few sips. Until recently they were one of the top ten items picked up on beaches around the world – now they have been overtaken by PPE though there are still lots of straws circulating the sea which will be there for years.

Plastics don’t biodegrade, so can cause big problem to all sorts of animals that try to eat them or get caught up in them; they leach toxic chemicals into the ground, and if they are incinerated they release harmful toxins polluting the air. 

Plastics are made from polypropylene which is derived from oil, a finite fossil fuel. Colourants, plasticisers, antioxidants and UV filters are then added and they are usually packaged in plastic wrap.
To ask all businesses in Cornwall to think about their consumption of plastic and their waste streams so we reduce the amount going into landfill, to the incinerator, and into the sea.

If you are a business who has joined the campaign, then use our logo by all means, for all other uses please email us.

Sometimes we can – but only normally in Cornwall – please email us!

 
 

We are a small team but yes we can try to come to your school if you are local – otherwise we know lots of other plastic campaigners and other charities who operate locally who can help. We can als provide materials and a slide show for school assemblies if we cannot attend in person so please contact us.

No – we are trying to campaign to reduce consumption and many of the so-called ‘eco-friendly’ products on the market are not as eco as they should be – there is nothing as good as plates and metal crockery washed in a dishwasher and that is how we would prefer all caterers to provide food!

No, we are a not for profit run by volunteers and we rely solely on donations to keep going! 

We are a team of three directors based in Cornwall.

1) Refuse plastic items when offered and ask businesses not to offer them.  You can carry your own re-usable cutlery, cups and bottles to make the point! (we even keep our own bottle of tomato sauce in the car for those sneaky fish and chip suppers at the beach – much better than getting a single use sachet!)

2) Only buy paper straws for parties. And then compost them. Straight in your compost bin. If you haven’t got a compost bin, add them to your cardboard recycling. That way you keep them in the loop. And stop them becoming part of the plastics pollution problem.

3)  Write or email larger national companies and supermarkets to ask them to think about changing away from plastic where you see it as unnecessary packaging

4) Contact bars and cafes in your own town, say you’re a customer, and that you’re looking for places to frequent with your mates that don’t use single use plastic items .

5) Ask your Councillor and MP to support plastic reduction initiatives

6) Join one of our beach cleans – find out more here

The business case for using less plastic is not just environmental.

There are compelling financial benefits too, including:

– Cost savings: Reducing the amount of waste your business produces will always save money and one business we know saved £100s a year by not giving out unnecessary straws anymore!

– Enhanced brand reputation – customers are on the look out for ethical brands

– Recognition by sustainable bodies, such as Green Tourism Awards

– More engaged employees

– Increased sales from eco-friendly customers

– AND the opportunity to shout about the positive changes you’ve mad

We recommend that all businesses carry bio-degradable papers straws as a back up for those that need them, but other alternatives are metal retractable straws which cost around £7 each and are ideal for personal use.

Reducing all waste is the key to being environmentally friendly. So no plastic item at all is the best option (with a supply of your own items like re-usable straws or cutlery as a back up for when a customer does really need to use one). You will SAVE MONEY by not giving away so much plastic! An added bonus is that you can feel good about helping to keep our beaches clean.

Compostable means it breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate similar to paper and breaks down into small pieces in about 90 days, so that you don’t even recognise the original item, and it leaves no toxic residue. Unfortunately many items that are marketed as ‘compostable’ are not unless they are put into industrial grade composters, and there are  none in Cornwall so most ‘compostable’ packaging goes straight to the incinerator in Cornwall.   

Biodegradable plastics are commonly used for single use takeaway containers, cutlery etc. Biodegradeable means that a product can be broken down WITHOUT oxygen and that it turns into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass within a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately items like this do not degrade in the way you would expect, especially if they end up in the sea. Many plastic items marketed as ‘bio-degradable’ take years to degrade, and can still cause major litter problems and problems in the waste stream when they are accidentally put in with recyclable plastics. So it is really important that bio-degradable plastic is handled separately. Read this report here: https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/uk-world-news/biodegradable-plastic-bags-can-still-2811382
There is no widely agreed standard for ‘Degradable plastics’ are usually petroleum based products that break up through chemical reactions in an anaerobic environment/ light/ oxygen into water, CO2, biomass and trace elements. They can affect the recyclable wast stream so must be disposed of normally with usual waste as they are not recycable.

What are ‘Degradable plastics’

Degradable plastics are petroleum based products that break up through chemical reactions in an anaerobic environment/ light/ oxygen into water, CO2, biomass and trace elements.

What are Biodegradable plastics?

  • Biodegradable means that a product can be broken down WITHOUT oxygen and that it turns into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass within a reasonable amount of time.

What does ‘Compostable’ mean?

  • Compostable means it breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate similar to paper and breaks down into small pieces in about 90 days, so that you don’t even recognise the original item, and it leaves no toxic residue.

Conclusion:

Single use products made from plants are better than single use products made from oil-based plastic, but no ‘single use’ product is the best solution of all!

There are many reusable items on the market – cardboard, bamboo, glass and stainless steel, all of which you can be carried with you, washed and reused. 
Oceans are the largest ecosystems on earth, the Earth’s support system. They generate half the oxygen you breathe. More than 97% of the Earth’s water resides in Oceans. Oceans provide 1/6 of the animal protein people eat. They are the source of many new medicines to combat disease. Living oceans absorb harmful CO2 from the atmosphere and reduce the impact of climate change.
 

Good question. Plastic particles are now regularly found in the fish and shellfish we eat, so toxic chemicals are entering the human food chain with health implications. Not only that, but we all like to visit the sea if we can and we hope it’s going to be unpolluted when we do, so this is a problem for everyone in the UK whether you live near the sea or not!

Remember plastic doesn’t decompose. It just breaks down into really small bits of plastic. Which end up in the beasts and birds, and then in us.
The plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles known as microplastics so they don’t ever actually degrade which causes a huge problem as they are then eaten by sea beasts and birds  which causes a 50% mortality rate. Some of those micro plastics are in the food chain in the fish and birds that we eat and that is not good for us either!
Even when plastics can be recycled, some people worry that doing so is even worse for the environment. Recycling paper and glass requires much less energy, so this is a concern more relevant to plastics. According to Prof Thomas Kinnaman, of Bucknell University in the US,’recycling plastic uses roughly double the energy, labour and machinery necessary to put it in landfill’

And all recycling has some environmental costs, including more vehicles on the road.

There are more than 50 different types of plastics, making it more difficult to sort and reprocess than other materials and some can’t be recycled together as they melt at different temperatures

Nearly all types of plastics can be recycled, but the extent to which they are depends on factors such as whether the technology is available in the area you live.
Many recycling collections in the UK have focused on key packaging types, for example plastic bottles, which are heavier than most other plastics and therefore relatively easy to sort.
Often plastics can consist of more than one polymer type, which makes it more difficult to recycle.

Once plastic items are contaminated by food waste they cannot be put in recycling unless washed first. Even then, if they are black) they cannot be recycled anyway. Unfortunately as so many single use plastic items used in the hospitality sector are so small and lightweight (sauce sachets, cutlery, PPE) they frequently drop through the sorting screens, contaminate other recycling and are scattered by the wind to become litter. So the best thing is to avoid them. The risk of them causing damage in the environment then goes down to zero.

Single use is just that. It’s just used once. It means it’s “disposable”. Disposable plastic is used only once often for as little as 20 minutes before being thrown away. Items include such items as straws, takeaway coffee cups, cotton buds, plastic bags, plastic water bottles and most food packaging. We need to break this plastic habit!
It is used once then thrown away – an almost completely pointless use of valuable resources. Yes, PPE is currently necessary for purposes of reducing COVID transmission but cloth face masks are as good as single use and some ‘plastic’ sterile gloves are now recyclable.
 
Did you know that plastic straws are used once for about 20 seconds, but each plastic straw will be around in the ground or in the sea for over 100 years – all for the sake of a few sips. Until recently they were one of the top ten items picked up on beaches around the world – now they have been overtaken by PPE though there are still lots of straws circulating the sea which will be there for years.

Plastics don’t biodegrade, so can cause big problem to all sorts of animals that try to eat them or get caught up in them; they leach toxic chemicals into the ground, and if they are incinerated they release harmful toxins polluting the air. 

Plastics are made from polypropylene which is derived from oil, a finite fossil fuel. Colourants, plasticisers, antioxidants and UV filters are then added and they are usually packaged in plastic wrap.