Keep Our Coast Clean: South Bay traders’ bid to become plastic free

Reducing the amount of plastic in our sea is no easy feat but businesses in Scarborough are trying their best to help.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 10:09 am
From left: Golden Grid manager Richard Johnson, Ana Cowie from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Steve Crawford and John Senior.PIC: Richard Ponter

At the beginning of the summer season the South Bay Traders’ Association made an effort to decrease the amount of single-use plastic in their businesses.

The association is now working with Surfers Against Sewage to gain accreditation as plastic free champions.

Some of the compostable alternatives to plastic used at the Golden Grid. PIC: Richard Ponter

In order to achieve this, businesses must remove or replace three items of plastic and show they’re trying to tackle more.

Since the push began, most of the associations’ members have managed to remove three items, with some changing as many as 19 items.

John Senior, owner of several seafront businesses and Chairman of the South Bay Traders Association, said: “We’re laying a challenge down to other businesses in town to join us in reducing plastics and also asking our guests -whatever you bring can you please take it home.”

Steve Crawford, Scarborough’s Surfers Against Sewage rep, also encouraged people to bring their own receptacles, such as reusable bottles and coffee cups, where possible.

He said: “It’s fantastic that we’re moving to a place where if people haven’t got stuff, then the things provided to them are plastic free, but if you can, bring your own kit.”

Mr Senior added: “We recognise the importance of reducing plastics, never mind just for the environmental and marine life reasons ,but it is also good for business - people want to come somewhere that looks nice.

“I know there’s an awareness amongst [the South Bay Traders Association] that we need to reduce single-use plastics to move towards a plastic free town.”

Businesses already pledging to reduce their use of plastics include Winking Willies, King Richards, Papas, The Golden Grid, the Tunny Club, The Anchor, the Fish Pan and the beach-side kiosks.

They are now encouraging others to follow suit so Scarborough can be accredited as a Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Community.

Ana Cowie, from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, explained the trust is committed to helping Scarborough become plastic free and is able to research alternatives for businesses who may not have the time to do so.

She said: “We’re willing to do the research for people and put that time in to help them find cost-effective alternatives and get that accreditation.”

The Scarborough News’ Keep Our Coast Clean campaign launched last month to encourage the public, the council and businesses to do their part to reduce the amount of litter left on our beaches and in the sea.

Anyone who would like to support the campaign, or has news relating to it, please contact [email protected]

How businesses can join the plastic-free effort

In order to be declared a Surfers Against Sewage plastic-free champion, a business must show it has removed three items of single-use plastic such as drinking straws, takeaway cutlery and plastic bags, to show they’re committed to tackling the issue.

If enough businesses make the pledge, supported by the council and residents engage in reducing their usage, Scarborough can become accredited as a plastic-free community.

Businesses can register online with Surfers Against Sewage who supply a business toolkit to help make changes.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is also on hand to help companies by researching cost-effective alternatives to what is currently being used.

To find out more about becoming a plastic-free business visit

Anyone who would like help from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust can contact Ana Cowie on [email protected]