Fantastic – no single use plastic.

A Bath cafe has been the first of six small businesses to receive an award for removing single use plastic and help the whole of Bath & North East Somerset achieve its target of plastic free status by April 2020.

Cafe au Lait –  in Dorchester Street – is one of more than 50 organisations that have signed the council’s plastic pledge to tackle unnecessary plastic use by ditching at least three types of single use plastic or using sustainable alternatives, helping the council to achieve Plastic Free Communities status.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can qualify as Plastic Free Champions and receive a wooden plaque to display their status at their places of business.

Many community groups, schools, faith organisations and companies have already taken positive action to remove unnecessary single use plastics. Organisations including Wessex Water and Bath Spa University have been added to an online directory of plastic pledges but more businesses are being urged to share what they are doing to avoid plastic use.

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Photo L-R: Cafe au Lait’s company director Natalie Bonnici, Councillor Sarah Warren and manager Jess Wolfe

Councillor Sarah Warren, cabinet member for Climate Emergency at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “I am delighted to have presented the award to our first Plastic Free Champion and congratulate all the business, schools and organisations that have signed up to our plastic pledge so far. I’m impressed by the range of creative solutions that already feature in our directory. We need collective action to eliminate single-use plastic and increase the routine use of sustainable alternatives.

“Achieving Plastic Free Communities status for Bath & North East Somerset by April will involve as many people as possible encouraging others in their community to reduce single use plastic. I am making a call for more organisations to join the pledge and become Plastic Free Champions, because only by working together can we make a positive change.”

The other five Plastic Free Champions are Widcombe Acorns Forest Pre-School, Fresh Range, Consciously You, The Green Stationery Company and KRD Tax & Accountancy Services Ltd.

On signing up to the plastic pledge, participants receive a business toolkit and support from members of the Plastic Free team throughout the process.

Plastic Free Communities is a nationwide scheme aiming to free communities, however big or small, from single-use plastic and is run by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage.

The council is asking all businesses which already avoid single use plastic, particularly SMEs, to join the directory of supporters for Plastic Free B&NES which can be found at https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/environment/sustainability/bathnes-plastic-pledge/profiles

For more information or to sign up, visit the Plastic Free Bath and North East Somerset webpage: www.bathnes.gov.uk/plasticfree. The Sustainability team can be contacted via email at sustainability@bathnes.org.uk