We are in a brilliant and very lucky position. We live in a beautiful place which people flock to over the summer season. Why wouldn’t you?! Penzance has so much to offer and stands out for being an authentic, real Cornish town. No airbrush here! Just amazing architecture, independent businesses, beautiful beaches, fabulous history, art and theatre, loads for the little ones to do … and we’re making a stand on the environment.
We shouldn’t underestimate the power of that particular string to the bow. Last summer, the first since Penzance achieved the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities status, we heard from a large number of people who told us they’d come to Penzance because they’d heard about its stand on single-use plastic. A lot of those people wanted to spend their money responsibly, support good things and also were impressed by all the lovely photos in the media!
We are seeing a similar trend this year with anecdotes from several accommodation providers that visitors, overseas visitors in particular, are choosing Penzance because of our reputation of trying to do things a different way, a better way for our environment. For this reason we have been working as closely as our volunteer time allows with holiday businesses, so when visitors arrive they are getting the ‘plastic free’ experience right from the start.
Working to our accommodation and business toolkits to reduce throwaway plastic, sharing information on things guests can do to reduce their plastic impact during their stay and promoting Plastic Free PZ events and businesses we are pleased to welcome aboard several new businesses in the town. Check them out in our business directory here.
We have also re-issued our ‘Three Things You Can Do’ infographic which is featured on the town map and on social media and visitor websites. Some companies are going a step further and including a line in their booking confirmation reminding guests they are visiting Plastic Free Penzance and to remember their water bottle, refill cup and to shop local. Thanks to Community Allies Book Penzance and Marine Discovery in particular.
Our link with the Isles of Scilly is strengthening with three weekly marine wildlife talks on the Scillonian by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust (who run Plastic Free Scilly) which also raise awareness of plastic pollution. Coupled with an on board magazine article and action from the IoS Steamship Company to start tackling single use plastic waste, we’re hoping to start seeing more positive change on the route, an important way to build more action in the town and on the islands.
As always though, we come back to individual actions. And this is where the real differences become visible. Choosing whether we’re local and going somewhere else on holiday or a visitor to Penzance, to take good habits with us, not to buy quick plastic wrapped picnic food, remembering to pack refill cups and bottles …. saying no to ice cream tubs! So here are our top five Plastic Free Holiday Tips:
- Join the Refill Revolution – remember your refill bottles, cups and bags. You can take them on planes as long as they’re empty as you go through security
- Shop Local – local businesses are less likely to be wed to excessive plastic packaging and are more able to stop using it. Look out for SAS Plastic Free Champions across the UK and support high streets and local economies rather than big corporations
- Savvy Souvenirs – sat no to plastic tat and opt for a local jam, chutney, brew or locally made crafts. Pick cotton location t shirts or take loads of photos to make a memories album instead
- Guilt Free Treats – choose ice cream in cones and refuse tubs (even ‘compostable’ tubs), say no to lollies in plastic wrappers and have a holiday bake off to make/freeze treats for days out
- Share the Love – inspire others by sharing photos of your efforts to reduce plastic, businesses doing the same in their community and summer tips/things you’ve learnt along the way.
June 2019 UPDATE:
Check out our brilliant new signage for the town! Thanks to Penzance BID for helping us make it happen!
July 2019 UPDATE: