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Plastic Free Penzance

989. Rachel Yates

Rachel Yates, from Penzance, is uniting her community in a battle against single use plastics to become the UK’s first plastic free town.

Rachel Yates

Shocked by the amount of plastic washed onto the shores after winter storms in 2014, Rachel decided to act and began joining beach cleans run by ‘Surfers Against Sewage’. Determined to do more, she created ‘Plastic Free Penzance’ as part of the ‘Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities’ campaign and began working with local businesses to find plastic alternatives. Rachel runs regular plastic-free clinics to provide guidance to businesses on giving up plastic and has persuaded more than 60 of them to ditch single use plastics for good.

In a personal letter to Rachel, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Your work to turn the tide on the consumption of single use plastics has inspired individuals and businesses alike to play their part in proudly creating the UK’s first plastic-free town. Your trailblazing efforts are motivating communities across the UK to follow in your footsteps and will protect the environment for generations to come.”

Rachel said:

“There are hundreds of people across the UK working tirelessly to tackle single use plastic as part of the ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ Plastic Free Communities movement. So for me this is an acknowledgment for each and every one of them as well as the swathe of businesses, organisations and individuals who have got behind the ‘Plastic Free Penzance’ campaign. I am always bowled over by the level of support in the town and am hugely grateful and proud of what we are trying to achieve.

“I hope that together we can bring about positive change, empowering individuals and communities to take action which benefits the world we live in – not just environmentally but socially and economically too.”

Picture Credit: Greg Martin

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