Staff at Sutton Harbour Holdings plc are backing a city-wide initiative to encourage people to use a new reusable coffee cup to help reduce rubbish which can end up littering Plymouth’s historic harbour.
Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, the parent company of leading local businesses including Plymouth Fisheries, the second largest fresh fish market in England, and the award-winning, 5 Gold Anchor Marina at Sutton Harbour and King Point Marina in Millbay, is fully backing the One Plymouth Cup initiative which was launched last month, and has ordered reusable cups for all of its staff working across SHH plc businesses.
The property development and waterfront regeneration company hopes that by supporting eco-friendly schemes such as this, more people will be educated to make lifestyle changes, which could help reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in bins, or being blown into Sutton Harbour, which the Sutton Harbour Litter Boat has to clear up on a daily basis.
The One Plymouth Cup scheme encourages people to switch to using a reusable, recyclable cup rather than buying hot drinks in disposable takeaway cups, and is the brainchild of community network One Plymouth and city-based business Redrok.
More than a dozen local cafes have already signed up as participating stockists, including Theatre Royal Plymouth, while some of the city’s biggest employers are supplying the cup for their staff to use while they are out and about.
Local coffee houses such as Costa, Starbuck’s and Plymouth University café are offering discounts to people who bring in reusable cups when they are buying a hot drink to takeaway.
Jason Schofield, Chief Executive of Sutton Harbour Holdings plc, said: “This is a fantastic initiative from One Plymouth and Redrok and we were immediately keen to take part and order cups for all of SHH plc’s employees.
“Our litter crews are out in Sutton Harbour every morning collecting increasing amounts of rubbish which ends up in the water – and disposable coffee cups form an alarming amount of the litter we pick up, so anything that can help reduce the number of plastic-coated cups going into our water and cluttering up the oceans is a welcome move. We’re keen to help lead the way with staff at the fisheries, both marinas and at our offices on North Quay all using the One Plymouth Cup to hopefully encourage others to follow suit.”
Three years ago, SHH plc invested £38,000 in a specialist harbour cleaning vessel to help keep Plymouth’s spectacular waterfront clear of rubbish and the company spends more than £50,000 a year on litter collection and removal services, with staff going out on the litter boat every morning – and sometimes more than twice a day – to pick up rubbish which is blown, or even deliberately thrown, into the harbour.
SHH plc manages the annual collection and disposal of up to 200 tonnes of litter recovered from the water – including disposable coffee cups.
It is estimated that more than 2 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year in the UK, and fewer than 1% are recycled, as many have a polyethene lining which makes this process difficult.
Scott Grenney is one of the co-founders of One Plymouth, a community network set up to celebrate the best about Plymouth and promote the city as a fantastic location to live, work and visit, with social media channels reaching more than 325,000 people each month.
He said: “Only one throwaway coffee cup in 400 ends up being recycled, and far too many end up in the water. David Williams and I wanted to do something to help reduce the number of single-use plastics, which often end up in the oceans. As Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth has a beautiful waterfront, and it’s so sad to see people throwing away rubbish which gets blown into Sutton Harbour.
“We’re keen to help people make changes that benefit everyone – and it’s fantastic that Sutton Harbour Holdings is helping to lead the way and coming on board with a large corporate order for its staff in Plymouth. We’ve had an incredible response to the One Plymouth Cup initiative already, and it’s helping to put Plymouth on the map as a city that’s leading this lifestyle change.”
Sales of the One Plymouth Cup, which cost £8 each, also help to support the National Marine Aquarium, which is based in Sutton Harbour, with 25p from each purchase donated to the aquarium to help fund its vital marine research projects.
Owners of a One Plymouth Cup can get discounts, offers and even prizes throughout the city when they use their cup to buy a takeaway hot drink.
Learn more about the One Plymouth Cup by visiting www.oneplymouth.co.uk/one-plymouth-cup/ and find out which local stockists sell the cup or offer deals when using it.
One of Sutton Harbour’s most prominent tenant businesses, Boston Tea Party, is also taking a stand, with this family-friendly café chain recently announcing a bold move to ban all disposable coffee cups in its cafes from June 1st. Boston Tea Party will only serve takeaway coffee to people using their own coffee cups, and the independent chain, which now has 21 branches in England, is believed to be the first in the UK to ban the sale of hot drinks in disposable cups.
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Keep up to date with events in Sutton Harbour by visiting the website www.visitsuttonharbour.co.uk.