Friday, June 1, 2018 - 10:30

The Eden Project is taking more steps to drastically reduce single-use plastic across all its operations.

The educational charity, which welcomes more than one million visitors a year to its site near St Austell in Cornwall, announced today a new raft of measures, including:

  • Water sold in plastic bottles is no longer available in Eden’s cafes, restaurants or shop.
  • Increasing the number of free water taps in public areas from 10 to 15.
  • Withdrawing single-use plastic cups and introducing re-usable cups at the Eden Sessions, starting with the first concert this year on Wednesday (June 6).
  • Wrapping sandwiches and other food items in paper, rather than plastic.

The positive actions are the latest by Eden to combat the environmental damage caused by single-use plastic. It is estimated that about 10 million tonnes of discarded plastic currently ends up in the oceans every year.

Eden’s chief executive Gordon Seabright said today: “Since the Eden Project began we have been working with our partners to look at smarter ways to reduce, re-use, recycle and re-invest. For example, 100 per cent of left-over food is composted.

“Single-use plastic is a great scourge of the modern age, polluting our oceans and causing massive problems for life at sea and on land. We believe with all the steps we have been and are taking we can help make a difference.

“Our latest measures, in particular withdrawing plastic water bottles, single-use concert cups and food wrapping, reduces plastic at Eden by a significant amount and we are always striving to do more.”

The new measures follow a number of other initiatives by Eden to continue to reduce plastic and general waste.

Plastic straws were withdrawn from use nearly a year ago and Eden is part of The Final Straw Campaign.

Eden is proud to be one of the ReFill Cornwall locations, supporting the availability of free, Cornish tap water. Eden also sells refillable steel bottles and is introducing bio-plastic bottles.

There is a range of re-usable coffee cups, made from bamboo or silicone, with a 10 per cent discount for exchanging a paper cup. Visitors are offered a discount on hot drinks if they bring their own re-usable coffee cup.

Last November Eden joined the Simply Cups collection and recycling scheme which sees single use beverage cups made into new products such as the rCup which is sold in the Eden shop.

In March this year Eden launched a range of home compostable coffee capsules that directly addresses the problem of waste plastic. The disposal of used coffee capsules is a huge and growing problem for the environment.  The new capsules reduce the problem as they break down into raw materials in a domestic compost heap in a matter of weeks.

Staff at the project are working with suppliers and partners to consider other items of single-use plastic, such as packaging, and work together to find alternatives.

Better solutions are being developed for plastic used for children’s food trays and pots and juice bottles.