Protecting the Tamar

Businesses to prevent plastic pollution in the River Tamar

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Tamar-based based businesses can help to protect the River Tamar by accessing free plastic waste audits from environmental charity, Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT).

As part of the charity’s EU-funded Preventing Plastic Pollution (PPP) project, small and medium sized companies in Cornwall and Devon can access advice to help them cut down on single-use plastics (SUP) in the workplace and implement sustainable alternatives.

PPP officer, Perry Burns, said: “We have helped food production firms replace plastic food packaging with biodegradable alternatives and installed special bins for anglers to place their plastic waste in such as fishing line and spools.

“We want to assist a range of industries as the audit provides a clear view of how much waste a business is producing, allowing us to provide solutions to help reduce waste and potentially save the business money.”

In 2020, the WRT PPP team collected more than 1,200 food-related SUP items in just seven catchment-based litter picks, while in 2021, in just one day at four highway locations, they cleared 26 kg of SUP, all of which could have ended up in the River Tamar and then out to sea.

Burns added: “When plastics get into our freshwater environments it can lead to wildlife being harmed, the pollution of land and groundwater, negative effects on human health, and the contamination of our oceans.

“By taking part, businesses have the opportunity to benefit the long-term health of the River Tamar and support the wider PPP aims.”

The overarching PPP project involves 17 cross-Channel partners working together to gather evidence of sources and quantities of plastic pollution in catchments, create effective and innovative interventions to reduce plastic waste in them, and nurture positive behaviour change with communities and business.

Eligible Tamar-based companies will also receive social media promotion, a chance to appear in a project film, and other promotional benefits.

Visit wrt.org.uk/project/ppp-business-engagement, email plastics@wrt.org.uk or call Perry Burns on 07807 116545 to apply.

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