Plastic Free Cheddar signs up first business partner in bid for Surfers Against Sewage accreditation

  Posted: 09.10.21 at 14:40 by Tim Lethaby

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The Plastic Free Cheddar group has signed up its first business ally in the village, in its bid to gain Surfers Against Sewage accreditation.

Extra Mile Printing and Embroidery was presented with a plaque yesterday (October 8) as a thank you for supporting the group by helping to make Cheddar a more sustainable and pleasant place to live.

Surfers Against Sewage accreditation goes to groups who have met certain criteria in reducing their plastic usage, and one of these is signing up plastic free allies, such as Extra Mile.

Chairman of Plastic Free Cheddar, Adrian Male, told Cheddar Nub News that he hoped more businesses in the village would follow suit.

He said: "Extra Mile Printing have reduced their plastic considerably, and it is fantastic that they are our first ally.

"Ideally what we want to do is to get at least five businesses in Cheddar, and we've got several lined up, who have shown over the last couple of years that they've reduced their use of single use plastic.

Extra Mile Printing's Beccy Lloyd with the public recycling collection point

"Then we want to get 15 organisations who support the idea of plastic free, and then we will run a couple of events every year, just to remind people of why going plastic free is so important.

"The problem with a lot of the plastic is that it's going into landfill. Then it breaks down and it goes into the oceans and into the rivers, and all sorts of places.

"The other part is that a lot of this plastic is produced from petroleum and that's not very good either because we are rightly in a society where we're trying to reduce our use of fossil fuels.

"If you drive an electric car, the petrol you've been using is probably now being used to turn into plastic - that's not good.

"I don't know if I don't know if net zero for carbon emissions is possible. I think we could be in a much better position in five to 10 years."

Director of Extra Mile Printing, Beccy Lloyd, said they were delighted to support Plastic Free Cheddar and had been working hard to reduce the amount of single use plastic they used.

"We've changed our recycling provider so that we use one that does as much as they can to recycle everything, and anything that isn't recyclable doesn't go to landfill - it's turned into energy," she said.

"We've replaced our postage bags with either recycled plastic or paper. And the same with any bags that we give customers in the shop, they're either recycled or biodegradable.

"Hopefully we can encourage other businesses to join in and make a difference - we want as many businesses as possible to get involved.

"We also have our public recycling collections, so outside on our forecourt, members of the public can come and recycle dental waste products, things like toothbrushes and toothbrush packaging, and toothpaste tubes as long as they're empty.

"Then we've also got beauty product recycling, so that's things like flexible plastic packaging for facial wipes, hair dyeing kits, all that sort of stuff.

"A list of all the things that can be recycled here is on the front of the bins. Also, the money that's raised from our collections goes to the air ambulance."

Extra Mile's production manager Zach Newsome is on the business committee of Plastic Free Cheddar, and he had a message for Cheddar residents and businesses.

"If we don't do anything about plastic waste then it just becomes a bigger problem," he said,

"Some of it is small changes, but small changes do add up over time, particularly if you are doing it within your business, and within your personal life as well. There's only so much you can do, but every little bit does count."

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