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Cups of cheer after switch from plastic

Bempton Cliffs staff with some of the sustainable products sold at the nature reserve.
Bempton Cliffs staff with some of the sustainable products sold at the nature reserve.

Staff at RSPB Bempton Cliffs have been taking action to reduce the amount of plastics used on refreshments sold at the popular site.

Visitor operations manager Scott Smith undertook a “plastics audit” to identify all products in the grab-and-go refreshments offering while the team started to work on finding alternatives, such as sustainable cutlery and paper straws.

Over the last year, the reserve has updated its cold drinks range to eliminate plastic, so that all options are supplied in aluminium cans, glass bottles or recyclable Tetra Pak, including the aptly named “Water in a Box” which is already proving popular as a portable eco-friendly option.

This season, hot drinks will be in served in compostable Vegware cups that use plant materials instead of a plastic lining.

There is a price to pay for sustainability as these alternatives are more expensive.

However, customers bringing their own reusable cups will be rewarded with a 20p discount.

Scott said: “We’ve taken the decision to ask our customers to share our goal of reducing plastic waste, by increasing the price of our hot drinks by 5p per cup. This helps to cover the cost of these cups and lids. We feel confident our visitors will support our efforts to keep plastic out of our landfills and oceans.”

“We’re on a journey to find the most sustainable options for our visitors and doing what we can to reduce our footprint.”