CONTINUING our series of interviews looking at businesses and organisations around Lyme Regis that are planning to become single-use plastic free, Karen Durham-Diggins of Plastic Free Lyme Regis speaks to Sarah Abel, owner of Persuasion on Marine Parade.
WHAT has been the hardest challenges in reducing plastic in your business?
The worse thing that we see are the plastic our products are wrapped in and shipped in. From plastic film, polystyrene, bubble wrap – everything comes wrapped in plastic. We can source a good range of products that doesn’t include single use plastic or actually made from too much plastic.
WHAT have you achieved in reducing plastic and any other environmental savings?
The benefit of being a small business is that we can influence our use of plastic as much as we can. From the day that we opened we’ve used recycled paper carrier bags and where possible we ask customers if they even want a bag. Increasingly, which is really good, we customers with their own bags, reusable or bags they have recycled themselves.
Where possible we’ve gone back to our suppliers and had a conversation with them about reducing or eliminating the plastic in their product packaging. A really good example is a blanket we stock made of 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles, it used to arrive to us wrapped in a plastic bag! We went back to the supplier and pointed out the irony of that and these blankets now come in just a cupboard box.
WHAT have been the business benefits of reducing plastics?
One of the biggest benefits for us now is the increased awareness of the public to reduce plastic. Our customers are coming in looking for products that are reusable or recycled. For example, we can resource reusable coffee cups made from bamboo, being right by the beach we sell flip flops made from recycled tyres.
It’s great when customers come in and we can engage them in a conversation about these products and why we are selling them.
WHAT do you hope to achieve for the future?
As a retail business we can’t eliminate plastic entirely from our shop, but we want to make sure we are doing our bit where we can. Certainly in sourcing our products we actively look for products that are recycled or reusable and ensure the suppliers have really good credentials.
We’re really pleased to be supporters of Plastic Free Lyme Regis, along with others who have joined the supporter’s scheme and to keep that level of awareness and find ways to improve our environment.
It’s not just about plastic products, for example we try to switch our lights off at night and continue to think of ways we can improve for the future.
Watch the video of this interview below or to find out more about Plastic Free Lyme Regis visit www.plasticfreelyme.uk