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Jersey close to plastic-free status as town hits targets

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ST HELIER is the first Jersey parish to meet its goals in the Plastic-Free Jersey campaign, and the Island is close to qualifying for the designation later this month.

Daphne East, Town Centre Manager

As part of the parish’s commitments, single-use plastic is now banned from events taking place in St Helier, and organisers will need to provide eco-cups instead.

Town centre manager Daphne East said the move follows the introduction of eco-cups to vendors at the annual Fête de St Hélier over the last two years.

‘In 2019, any event held on Parish of St Helier property will be required not to use single-use plastic and to invest in reusable eco-cups instead,’ she said.

In addition, the Town Hall will now use re-usable cups and glasses in its offices and is investigating alternatives to plastic pens.

While an alternative to plastic pens is sought, the parish is holding a ‘pen amnesty’ to collect any surplus stationery to prevent more plastic being ordered.

The Plastic-Free Jersey campaign is dedicated to reducing the amount of single-use plastic in the Island by working with businesses and community groups in the global battle against plastic pollution.

‘The pennies these plastics cost are not a true reflection of their cost to the environment,’ said Plastic-Free Jersey campaigner Sheena Brockie.

Campaigners have spoken to over 300 businesses and are ‘very close’ to hitting the target required for Jersey to become the second Channel Island – after Alderney – to be designated Plastic-Free.

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Jersey’s campaign has been running for about a year and Ms Brockie said a big celebration is planned for December to mark the achievement, where all the participating businesses and groups will be honoured.

Last week Signtech CI joined the list of participating businesses after educating its staff about the materials that can be recycled and upcycled.

The company will now be sending off-cuts to local schools and artisans, and is investing in state-of-the-art machinery that is more environmentally-friendly than traditional printing and production methods.

But Plastic-Free Jersey’s goal is not to recruit the ‘minimum’ number of Island businesses to sign up but rather to smash that target, Ms Brockie said.

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She is encouraging all local businesses to get involved by visiting the Plastic-Free Jersey website which features tool-kits to help employers and community groups to get the fight against single-use plastic off the ground.

Ms Brockie said that reducing the consumption of single-use plastics is a more important goal for Jersey than recycling.

‘In Jersey we only recycle plastic bottles,’ she said. ‘They go to the UK, where they are processed into new plastic items. Reducing our consumption of single-use plastics is the only way to limit the true “aftermath’’,’ she added.

Tania Targett

By Tania Targett
Journalist

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