Plastic Free Penzance and Penzance Chamber of Commerce join forces to help businesses reduce and reuse plastic packaging, as part of work to tackle the impact of plastic pollution and create a more sustainable town.

Plastic Free Penzance and Penzance Chamber of Commerce will launch a new initiative in the town this week, to make it easier for businesses to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use. Pack Swap PZ will provide a packaging hub for all local businesses, where they can drop-off plastic that has been delivered by suppliers so it can be re-used again by other businesses.

The idea came about through Plastic Free Penzance Business Champions, who had started informally swapping things like bubble wrap, packaging peanuts and jiffy bags between them to save money and waste. It’s hoped launching a formal town-wide project will now make it easier for businesses to re-use and share resources as well as encourage more to take part.

The service will be based in Unit One of the Wharfside Shopping Centre, which has been donated by the management team until a tenant is found, putting an empty unit to community use and supporting efforts to improve the town’s environmental impact. Wharfside Shopping Centre is a ‘community ally’ of Plastic Free Penzance and has already helped promote on-street recycling in the town and supported training events.

Claire Whitton from Penzance Chamber of Commerce said: “The Pack Swap idea is absolutely fantastic for businesses. Not only does it help to reduce the amount of packaging that is being created and thrown away, it ensures that existing plastics are being re-used and that we are doing more to stop single-use. An added bonus for businesses is that it will save them money, as they won’t have to buy in this type of packaging to send out their stock. A win-win all round!”

The pilot scheme will launch on Tuesday 23rdJuly and will run for six months to determine demand, what packaging can be re-used/swapped and to see how the service can then be widened out to the general public.

Pilot Details:
Location:Unit One Wharfside Shopping Centre
Drop Off:Every Tuesday 5.30 – 6.30pm
Pick Up:Every Thursday 5.30 – 6.30pm
Packaging collected:Bubble Wrap, Packing Peanuts, Poster Tubes, Plastic Bags, Air Pockets & Jiffy Bags

Plastic Free Penzance Community Lead Rachel Yates said: “This is an exciting step forward for the town in terms of helping our businesses take the action they want to take. We work with almost 100 Plastic Free Business Champions and many, while putting pressure on suppliers to stop sending excessive plastic packaging, are frustrated at what is still being sent into their businesses on a daily basis.

 

“Pack Swap PZ means we can re-use more of that packaging rather than it end up being burnt in Cornwall’s incinerator or in the environment. It means businesses are saving money and precious resources and it is another example of how our community is working together to find better, kinder ways of doing things”

 

Pack Swap PZ will be run entirely by volunteers. Plastic Free Penzance is linking up with Active Plusin the town to provide opportunities for people to get involved. Volunteers from Penzance Chamber of Commerce and Plastic Free Penzance will also help open up the unit and collect and distribute packaging. If anyone would like to get involved, please email plasticfreepz@gmail.com

Plastic Free Penzance and Penzance Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Wharfside Shopping Centre for the use of the unit, D.J Andrewartha for donating storage bags, Sailflags and Quayside Design & Print for donating signage and Cllr Jonathan How for helping get the pilot off the ground.

Any enquiries can be directed to plasticfreepz@gmail.com

Check out the latest on Instagram