Community-run conservation organisation, The Newquay Marine Group, is campaigning for Newquay to become the first sustainable takeaway town in the UK.

For the second year running and with support from Seachangers UK, the group is speaking directly with business owners and issuing information on the environmental and health effects of their food packaging choices.

The Newquay Marine Group is trying to persuade businesses to choose packaging which is better for the environment such as paper, cardboard and compostable materials, moving away from the unsustainable polystyrene or plastic takeaway cartons, cups and lids.

“Discarded polystyrene takeaway cartons are an all too familiar scene on the streets of Newquay,” said Marine Group chair, Laura Guy.

“But many of our top businesses already understand the importance of, and are using these more sustainable materials. Cost has often been seen as a barrier to switching but these products are cheaper and more available than ever.”

The Group is asking all members of the public to help with this first stage of a wider community-led campaign to make Newquay “beautiful, sustainable and litter-free”.

Marine scientist and co-founder of Newquay Marine Group, Gabriella Gilkes, added: “The best thing we can all do is not to use single-use packaging in the first place. Don’t buy wrapped fruit and veg in the supermarket. Take a reusable cup to coffee shops or drink your coffee in-store. Refuse plastic straws and coffee cup lids when offered.

The group is using its website to list all businesses that are already using sustainable packaging or are making the switch, so consumers can easily identify them.

New York City had announced it will ban polystyrene packaging from the middle of the year, joining San Francisco, Toronto and Paris which since 2015 already prohibit the use of the takeaway containers.


  1. I work with adults and children with learning difficulties. We use paper straws and reusable straws with no problems. The children in particular are very concerned about injuring turtles ( have you seen the pictures on Facebook?). It is not a hassle, so happy days!
    I agree there is some controversy over compostable packaging but I think the authors also refered to reusable coffee cups and water bottles as a way to reduce litter. Again, this is an easy switch to make and will set a good example for Newquay and may encourage a change in behaviour.

  2. The packaging referenced has not been banned in the cities named. NYC may have made an announcement but similar to the first attempt to ban this is very likely to be defeated as has been widely reported.
    The WWF has issued a statement regarding compostables – I would suggest the authors of the article read it
    I would be grateful if the authors could advise where one might find compostables cheaper than the packaging to which they refer
    The Welsh government only last week mentioned polystyrene as being more sustainable. A number of facilities are now choosing foam packaging as a more environmentally friendly choice particularly when a lifecycle assessment is applied
    It seems somewhat unfair that the authors wish to make it difficult for children and many disabled to be able to consume drinks by wishing to ban straws
    I would ask the authors to consider public hygiene and safety as a critical element of their policy formation
    I would also ask the authors to consider food waste as part of their policy. Much unwrapped fruit and vegetables have a reduced shelf life – please refer to experiments to eliminate the wrapping on a cucumber which greatly shortened their usable life. Food waste is the greater environmental issue
    Finally packaging does not litter itself – people creature litter

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