A PACKED meeting of business owners, local organisations and residents keen to help Lyme Regis become a ‘plastic free’ town was held last week.
Eco-group Turn Lyme Green, which is leading the campaign, were delighted with the turnout of about 50 people at its meeting in the new Driftwood Café, at Lyme Regis Baptist Church, last Tuesday.
Chris Boothroyd of Turn Lyme Green said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people who are keen to support the idea of Lyme Regis becoming ‘plastic free’. Not only will this benefit residents and businesses, but will mark us out as a town that’s looking to the future.
“We want Lyme to be prosperous and environmentally friendly for us, our visitors and our children.”
Chris invited business owners to give practical examples of how they already contribute towards a greener environment and the benefits to their business.
A number of the independent cafés in Lyme Regis are strong supporters of using green resources.
Kiean McNamara, owner of the Galley Café in Broad Street, said: “I don’t want to use plastic in my business, all of our takeaway cups, containers and bags are fully compostable. As a surfer I don’t want to see plastic cluttering up the sea, which should be clean for everyone to enjoy.”
Red Panda’s Natalie McCarthy also supported the use of compostable containers and cutlery and gave a unique insight into the problems of rubbish in the environment in other countries that she had lived in before moving to Lyme Regis.
Lesley Stone, owner of The Royal Lion Hotel, said the hotel had achieved a green tourism silver award.
Ms Stone added: “We’re continuing to improve our green credentials; the small steps such as changing from plastic to paper straws, are just as important as the big investments in things like automated LED lighting and sensor taps.”
The Alexandra Hotel’s manager, Sean Smith, talked about a range of initiatives, including using naturally sourced water from the site, which had resulted in the hotel achieving a green tourism gold award.
Councillor Richard Doney reported that the town council had been extremely supportive in discussions about Lyme Regis aiming to achieve the ‘plastic free’ award from national organisation Surfers Against Sewage, and he was confident that this would be formally confirmed at the next full council meeting on March 28.
To be awarded ‘plastic-free coastlines approved’ status, Lyme Regis needs to reduce the amount of single-use plastic items and have businesses and local organisations work together to clean up the coastal environment.
Councillor Doney talked about the five steps necessary to achieve ‘plastic free’ status which includes: support from the local council, businesses working to reduce the amount of plastic that they use, the community supporting plastic free living and initiatives such as beach cleans to reduce waste in the environment.
Good progress has already been made with the town council and local businesses and the next step is for Turn Lyme Green to set up a steering group to progress action. A number of those attending the meeting expressed an interest in joining the group or contributing in other ways to achieve success in gaining the ‘plastic free’ award for Lyme Regis.
The next Turn Lyme Green meeting is the annual general meeting at 7:30pm on Tuesday, April 10 at the Royal Lion Hotel. After a short AGM, the meeting will look forward to activities in the coming year with a round-up of progress on the plastic free front. Everyone is welcome.
Anyone interested in helping Lyme Regis become ‘plastic free’ should contact Jo Smith Oliver by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or look at the Turn Lyme Green website www.turnlymegreen.co.uk for further details.