Join the Reusable Revolution

Wimborne War on Waste and Plastic Pollution.

Plastic pollution has been a hot topic in the news as of late. We reported on the Beach Hut Café in Christchurch who were inspired by Blue Planet 2 to make some radical changes to their takeaway packaging, and Litter Free Coast and Sea are now also running ‘Plastic Surgeries’ to help fast food outlets across Dorset cut their single-use packaging.

A group of concerned residents in Wimborne took up the plastic baton last year and our Sustainability Champion Mitch went along to meet the lovely people from Wimborne War on Waste to find out what they’ve been up to. They recently collaborated with Waitrose in Wimborne for a ‘reusable cup drive’ and had a stand outside promoting various plastic alternatives.

The main focus was on using a reusable cup instead of the single use ones you can get for your takeaway drink. Using a reusable cup instead of a single-use one each time saves on the energy and materials needed to make those cups, and also cuts down on waste. Until recently, it wasn’t widely possible to recycle the single use cups, however a recent scheme from the Dorset Waste Partnership means you can recycle them at various car park recycling points in Dorset. Follow this link to find where these are.

Whilst recycling does help, even better is to not use the disposable cup in the first place, by getting one of these reusable cups. Waitrose themselves sell them for a few pounds, or you can check online if you want to get a really good one, there a number of good local suppliers. You can custom pick your colours, keep your drink warm with a thermal mug or get a bamboo cup and remove the plastic entirely! The next step is remembering to take it with you. Try keeping it in your car or in your reusable shopping bag. With the 25p ‘latte levy’ that is being considered for disposable cups, now is a great time to start this sustainable habit if you haven’t already.

Here’s a couple of stats about stats about disposable coffee cups around that help show the significance of using a reusable cup. In the UK we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every day – that’s 2.5 billion every year. Then we have that if all coffee drinkers in the UK switched to a reusable cup, they would save enough energy to power more than 37,000 three-bedroom homes for one year.

It’s been said that 50% of the world’s plastic goes into items used just once. Coffee cups are part of the big 4, which make up a large part of this. Wimborne War on Waste also had the below set up which shows some great alternatives. I particularly like the Safix scrub pad made of coconut fibre.

You can find Wimborne War on Waste on our website here. If you’d like to meet them in person, come to their Wimborne WoW & Costa – Coffee Cup Awareness Day which will be at Costa Coffee in Wimborne from 9:00 until 14:00 on the 10th of February.

For more general information about cutting down on plastic waste please see our tips on how to reduce your plastic use. And if you’re looking to invest in your own reusable coffee cup and can’t make it down to Wimborne, The Independent have done a round-up of the best reusables on the market.

Waste, recycling and plastics are important issues, and if you’ve been inspired by what they’re achieving in Wimborne, why not get together with a group of friends and start a plastic-free/reusable drive in your town!