Tips From Penzance: The First British Town To Become Plastic-Free

Some tips to reduce plastic dependence from a plastic-free town.

Emily Kavanaugh is standing in her skincare-product shop, Pure Nuff Stuff, on Chapel Street. The narrow lane leads down towards the Jubilee pool, the triangular lido that juts like a ship’s prow into the sea from Penzance. “Here, try one,” Kavanaugh says, handing me a piece of packing material. The little white cloud looks and feels like a polystyrene packing “peanut”, but, Kavanaugh assures me, “it tastes exactly like a communion wafer”. After a wary nibble, I pop the whole thing in and notch it up as a snack.

Kavanaugh’s packaging is made not of plastic but corn starch. If eating it feels like an act of faith, it is because there is a growing fervour in this Cornish seaside town. Last year, Penzance became the first town in Britain to receive “plastic-free” status from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). The former single-issue movement, founded in Cornwall in 1990, has become a national marine conservation charity with plastics in its sights.

Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

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