Here at Lower Barns we are concerned about the amount of plastic waste washing up on the Cornish shoreline. We feel some of the most common waste seen on Cornish beaches, for example plastic straws, bags and bottles, are unnecessary or could be replaced with non-plastic alternatives.
Plastic can be deadly. Not only can wildlife become entangled and injured in plastic waste, but fish can ingest microbeads and other small pieces of plastic when they mistake them for food. This plastic is then passed up the food chain, right up to humans. At least 250 marine species have been reported as containing ingested plastic. According to Surfers against Sewage, as many as 1 in 3 fish caught for humans consumption now contain plastic.
Single use plastics are potentially the ones most commonly found on Cornish beaches. They are also the easiest to avoid or replace with something more sustainable:
Plastic bags: can take between 10 – 500 years to decompose, depending on size and thickness.
Solution: Get hold of some lovely reusable hemp or organic cotton bags so you can lead by example at your local supermarket.
Plastic bottles: The UK uses approximately 38.5 million plastic bottles each day – fewer than 60% of these are recycled. A plastic water bottle can take up to 450 years to decompose.
Solution: buy yourself a beautiful reusable bottle to fill with tap water. This goes for disposable hot drink containers (most of which are non-recyclable) too, many cafes will give you a discount if you present them with a reusable cup to put your morning cuppa in.
Plastic straws: used in a single G&T, it will then take roughly 200 years to decompose.
Solution: get into the habit of saying ‘No straw, please’ when you’re out for a drink, it’s SO easy!
Also, as a first step here at Lower Barns we have made a decision that we hope you will get behind us and back – no more plastic straws.
We will practice what we preach and say ‘NO STRAWS PLEASE!’
It has always been a great feature for people at Lower Barns that you can ‘bring your own booze’ and nothing will change about it, apart from the straw thing.
There are a couple of great alternatives if you can only do a G&T through a straw – have you tried out bamboo, glass or metal straws? Isn’t is great that they are recyclable? They are actually quite widely available but if you haven’t seen them about, there is a wide range on Amazon for starters.
I am an early morning walker and love to spend time on our beaches, the coast paths and the cycle paths that connect up the stunning places we live amongst. I always carry a bag to collect plastic and litter as I go. If you have ideas about how I can make myself even more effective, please let me know as I’m listening and ready to take action.
Your thoughts on this will be greatly appreciated, since it’s something we feel so strongly about. Any other suggestions that you have that we can begin to implement will be received with big thanks.
We will look forward to hearing from you,
Love Janie x