Published: January 31, 2020 | Updated: January 31, 2020

Plastic not so fantastic: Ditch three items and your business becomes a plastic free champion

Jake Sculthorp and Rosie Bailey, of GoPladdle, with some of the rubbish collected from Poole Harbour.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Small and medium size businesses are being invited to play their part in making Poole a plastic free community.

Five businesses have already been declared plastic free champions after removing three items of single-use plastic or replacing them with sustainable alternatives.

However GoPladdle, the community leader for the Poole initiative, needs another 74 businesses spread across the town’s 14 electoral wards to also become champions.

Jake Sculthorp, who runs GoPladdle with fellow environmentalist Rosie Bailey, said: “It’s completely achievable for a business to remove three items of single-item plastic.

Rockley Watersports receive their plastic free champions certificate.

“It could be something as simple as replacing sauce sachets with a sauce bottle or using wooden stirrers instead of plastic spoons.

“Every small change can make a big difference. It can also save money.”

The plastic free community scheme is run nationally by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

It’s aimed at tackling avoidable single-use plastic, from the beach all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it.

SAS stress it’s not about removing all plastic from our lives.

Instead, the object is to kick the addiction to avoidable single-use plastic and change the system that produces it

SAS point out that:

  • 8m pieces of plastic pollution find their way into the ocean every day.
  • 320m tonnes of plastic were generated globally in 2016 and this is set to double by 2034.
  • There are 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution per mile of beach in the UK.

Quadrant Safety Ltd.

Getting business support is just one part of being declared a plastic free community.

As community lead, GoPladdle also has to win the support of the local authority – BCP Council in the case of Poole – as well as plastic free allies and arrange at least two community events such as a beach clean.

The plastic free champions so far in Poole are:

  • Ecomazing Cleaning
  • Fisherman’s Café
  • 1 New Street Sandwich Shop
  • Quadrant Safety Ltd
  • Rockley Water Sports

They’ve received a certificate and wooden plaque and are allowed to display the plastic free champion logo.

More applications from Poole businesses are pending.

Certified plastic free communities in Dorset include Dorchester, Ferndown, Swanage and Wimborne.

Ecomazing Cleaning.

Communities in progress are Blandford, Bournemouth, Purbeck, Studland, Wareham and Weymouth as well as Poole.

Poole-based GoPladdle, a community interest company, was founded by Jake and Rosie in June 2018.

They took to the water in kayaks to help clean the harbour, hence the name GoPladdle (to pick up litter from the ocean, coastline or rivers using a paddle assisted watercraft).

Jake and Rosie have since held several organised beach cleans as well as regular cleaning excursions.

GoPladdle worked with Poole Harbour Commissioners to make last year’s Poole Harbour Boat Show a plastic-free boat show.

To find out more about becoming a plastic free champion contact GoPladdle at