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Businesses gather for Plastic-Free Dover project launch

By Beth Robson

Paper food cartons are just some of the ways businesses will reduce single use non-recyclables in a new scheme called Plastic Free Dover.

Transition Dover launched the scheme, which sees businesses banding together to reduce the environmental scourge.

Those at the launch at Biggin Hall welcomed Katie Anderson from Paddlesworth Produce who talked enthusiastically about her new company based just outside Dover, which delivers Kentish food and drink to households, without using plastic packaging.

Liz Hayes of Transition Dover with guests Jemma Abbitt and Amy Howie at the Plastic Free Dover business launch
Liz Hayes of Transition Dover with guests Jemma Abbitt and Amy Howie at the Plastic Free Dover business launch

Paper wrapping, cartons made from sugar cane waste and wool lined insulation pouches are some of the innovative alternatives she has sourced to ensure the environmental impact of her businesses is minimal.

Liz Hayes, Transition Dover Co-ordinator said visitors also heard from Jemma Abbitt, Community Champion at Morrisons Dover, who was able to update the audience of the latest developments Morrisons are making nationwide to cut down on single-use plastic.

The umbrella Plastic Free Communities scheme is co-ordinated nationally by Surfers Against Sewage.

Katie Anderson from Paddlesworth Produce serves food in paper containers
Katie Anderson from Paddlesworth Produce serves food in paper containers

Dover is working towards fulfilling the criteria needed to be awarded the accreditation.

Volunteer Amy Howie said: "We need to recruit at least 15 Dover businesses to cut down on three items of single-use plastic.

"These could include plastic ketchup sachets, plastic forks or single biscuits wrapped in plastic.”

Amy Howie talks about the benefits of going plastic free
Amy Howie talks about the benefits of going plastic free

Some local businesses are already taking strides to help including the Dover Museum shop which only uses paper bags for merchandise and Dover Transport Museum Café has chosen to

become plastic-free.

Many local cafes are supporting the East Kent Refill scheme, helping cut down on plastic water bottle waste by refilling bottles with tap water when asked.

Ms Hayes added: “Working with businesses is just one strand of our work to achieving Plastic Free Dover status.

"We will also be talking to the public at events over the summer including the Dover Multicultural Festival and the Love Our Planet event at Samphire Hoe.”

In support, Dover Town Council passed a resolution to remove single-use plastic from their premises and promote the Plastic Free Community campaign.

Businesses or individuals who would like to get involved can email the team of volunteers at transitiondover@yahoo.co.uk.

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