The crisis of plastic in our environment has been highly publicised for several years now, writes Plastic Free St Ives. We’re more aware of the issue in Cornwall, where residents, businesses and organisations are at the forefront of highlighting and finding solutions to this problem.

The Plastic-Free St Ives campaign was set up in early 2018. It is part of the wider Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) Plastic-Free Communities initiative, and is an accreditation scheme whereby we hope to earn St Ives, Carbis Bay and Lelant ‘Plastic-Free’ status, by minimising our plastic footprint.

Getting this status is not about eradicating all plastic from our lives: it is the avoidable and single-use plastic items (eg straws, bags, sauce sachets etc) that the campaign aims to reduce and ideally eliminate.

To gain Plastic-Free status we have to meet five objectives:

  1. Organise a Plastic-Free St Ives steering group. (achieved)
    We have a steering group committee consisting of local business operators.
  2. Gain the support of local businesses. (achieved)
    To date, more than 30 local businesses, including St Ives BID, have joined our campaign. To support our campaign, a business has to eliminate at least three avoidable, single-use plastics.
  3. Gain the support of local community organisations and groups.
  4. Organise local events.
    You may have already seen the campaign stand at local events, plus the team will be organising regular beach cleans over the next year.
  5. Gain the official support of the local town council. (achieved)
    St Ives Town Council is supporting the campaign, with a local councillor having joined our steering committee.

To date we have met three of the five objectives, and hope to meet the others and gain accreditation this summer.

We want this to be a community campaign, involving as many people as possible, and for St Ives to become a leader in sustainable tourism. Everyone who takes part in this campaign should get the recognition they deserve, from the resident who picked up a plastic bottle on the way to work, to the business which eradicated all plastic from its operations.

We will be reporting regularly in St Ives Local, giving updates on our progress. If you would like to find out more about our campaign, have a business, or are part of a local organisation that would like to support the campaign, then please contact us via our Facebook page