In our first new monthly feature, we’ll be bringing you the latest from the Plastic Free North Devon group on their latest activities and tips for sustainable living...

Welcome to the first of an ongoing monthly feature on what we and local businesses have been up to, upcoming community events and sharing tips on sustainable living.

It’s been just over a year since Plastic Free North Devon (PFND) launched and we’re blown away with the progress we’ve achieved.

It is down to our growing number of volunteers, businesses and financial support from Pickwell Foundation, Fullabrook CIC, The AONB and the Big Lottery Fund, for which we are incredibly grateful.

So far: 1,880+ people joined our Big Saunton Beach Cleans; 4,000 young people have engaged through local school assemblies, workshops and beach cleans and 3,283 pieces of unrecyclable plastic were collected in two hours across five Tesco stores with the help 382 shoppers at our first unwrap event.

51 Degrees North Coffee Company.51 Degrees North Coffee Company.

We have collected 318 bags of rubbish, had 50+ local businesses gaining Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) plastic free accreditation and 18 schools sign up to the SAS plastic free programme.

Fifteen local agencies have come together to create The Plastic Free Consortium, seven water bars have been set up at major events and six communities achieved SAS plastic free status.

Revolutionising the way we clear up microplastics, the Nurdle sand sifting machines provided by Josh Beech have collected more than five-million pieces of plastic. Check out his work at www.nurdle.org.uk.

Boston Tea Party, Youings, Coast and Moor and Qualitopia are supporting us by donating between 10p and 50p of sales of certain products to PFND.

Over the next six months we’re looking to expand our work with schools, visitor campaigns, continue work with the local and business communities, raising awareness of responsible recycling and encouraging whole community engagement. We’re also looking forward to launching our website in the spring.

If you’d like more information on how your business or community can become plastic free, arrange a school visit, become an SAS community leader, volunteer or bring the water bar to your event, email plastic freenorthdevon@gmail.com.

Plastic free champion of the month

Plastic Free North Devon champion, 51 Degrees North Coffee Company, serves consistent speciality coffee and award-winning artisan drinks, establishing itself as the go-to place in North Devon for a great coffee.

Trading weekdays outside Tesco Braunton and at events around North Devon, this quirky eco-friendly coffee van is also featured in the Independent Coffee Guide.

Owner Justin Duerden supports suppliers in the South West, sourcing local farm milk refilled in reusable jerrycans, uses SCAA Certified single origin speciality coffee and bags organic Devon teas in biodegrable sachets.

Having the first mobile ‘Brew Bar’ in North Devon that serves hand brewed filter coffee, this unique coffee company offers speciality coffee workshops, donates used coffee grounds to the local community allotments and is solar power-assisted to reduce its carbon footprint. A percentage of the profits also go to International Animal Rescue.

Recycling tip of the month

Go the extra mile and collect up all of your stretchy plastic and take it to your local supermarket to recycle.

Did you know Tetra packs and bulky plastic, e.g. buckets, dustpans and brushes, are accepted at our recycling centres?

Upcoming events:

February 17: 11am-1pm - Woolacombe Beach Clean.

March 3: 11am-1pm - Saunton Beach Clean.

March 23: 10am-1pm Woolacombe Beach Clean.

For more information visit the ‘Plastic Free North Devon’ Facebook page.