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The Lost Gardens of Heligan become a ‘Plastic Free Champion’

The Lost Gardens of Heligan have been named a ‘Plastic Free Champion’ by Surfers Against Sewage.

In order to obtain this status, several pledges were made by The Lost Gardens to reduce their single use plastics. The pledges include becoming a water bottle refill station, removing single serve condiment sachets from their catering outlets and to stop providing plastic bags once the current supply runs out.

Green Champion at The Lost Gardens, Didi Aben, who was able to steer Heligan in the right direction said: “Reducing the use of single use plastics across a business as large and diverse as The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a somewhat daunting task. However, with guidance from SAS and campaigns such as Refill and Final Straw it has become clearer to see where action can be taken. Our approach has been to focus on one department at a time to make the task more manageable. Following the on-going success, we have had on our catering department, we will be turning our attention to our gift shop. Our plastic free journey is just beginning and the ‘Plastic Free Champion’ award has given us a real boost to keep going.”

The Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities campaign aims to encourage communities and businesses to avoid using single use plastics, in the hope that plastic pollution in the ocean will decline. The campaign has taken Cornwall by a storm, with many towns and businesses going the extra mile to be awarded plastic free status.

In particular, Heligan’s new status means they are playing their part in creating a plastic free St Austell.

Gary King leads Plastic Free St Austell and he said: “It's brilliant that The Lost Gardens of Heligan are doing their bit in the fight against single-use plastic. Heligan, along with other Plastic Free Champions, is doing great work. The message you send to suppliers and customers alike is that your organisation is achieving sustainability. Awarding Plastic Free Status is a way of acknowledging the sometimes difficult work that goes into eliminating unwanted plastic from a complex supply chain."

From practices in The Gardens and Estate to the Heligan Kitchen, efforts can be made from every department to support the cause. A pledge was also made to find a bulk buy option for animal feed to eliminate the use of plastic feed bags. There is also the new addition of plastic free Christmas crackers which are provided for every Christmas Lunch the Heligan Kitchen serve.

It is the small changes in each department that contribute to the wider cause of The Lost Gardens becoming plastic free. Teamwork is just a standard procedure at Heligan and it is with hope that this mindset can enlighten other businesses and towns in Cornwall that becoming plastic free is all about making little transitions to make a big difference.

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