Our tour in the plastivan took us through Boscastle, a lovely old harbour and coastline maintained by the fantastic National Trust. In addition to keeping footpaths open and other essential maritime maintenance, they operate a cafe shop and visitor center (with immaculate toilets), down by the harbour. So far so good!
Not so good was that the cafe was using disposable paper cups! Eeek! As you know, most paper cups are in fact plastic lined and so not very disposable. Bah! Was just about to turn round and leave when I noticed that these cups were from Vegware. Vegware dont line their cardboard cups with the usual conventional non biodegradable plastic but a certified compostable lining. You can read more here.
Now I wanted to take photos! And ask lots of questions! Which Jon kindly answered. As he says”… when the cafe first opened in 2009, there wasn’t a modern conventional sewage system in Boscastle, and all the waste that would normally go for treatment went straight into the sea. Because of this, we were reluctant to have a commercial dish washer in the cafe that would have just contributed to this waste, and so looked for viable alternatives. Finding a fully compostable solution in the cups, cup sleeves, plates and wooden cutlery was part of the solution to this problem, but without making sure that they were composted afterwards it wouldn’t have been such a positive environmental statement from what is, after all, a conservation charity…. we collect the cups, cup holders, plates and the untreated wooden cutlery that we use, and they are taken to a local farmer who shreds them. He then mixes them with his green waste and composts them into a peat free mulch substitute. This mulch is hen taken to the National Trust plant nurseries at Lanhydrock House near Bodmin, who grow, amongst all the other plant, the plants that are sold in the National Trust shop that adjoins the cafe in Boscastle. By doing it this way, we not only successfully recycle the disposables from the national Trust Cafe in Boscastle, but we contribute to saving the limited resources of peat bogs.”
Well done you!