Rasen business leads plastic revolution

Butcher Nick Bradley has gone back in time to wrap meat items in paper rather than plastic EMN-180802-140117001
Butcher Nick Bradley has gone back in time to wrap meat items in paper rather than plastic EMN-180802-140117001

Plastic is a hot topic at the moment, with reports showing up to 12million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the sea each year.

Now one Rasen area business is making a stand against the man-made menace.

Staff at Sunnyside Up Farm and Coffee Shop are so concerned about the amount of plastic used and its effect on the environment they are radically changing the way they serve their customers.

The initiative was dreamed up by owner Hazel Hammond and butcher Nick Bradley.

Hazel said: “We have sourced biodegradable plastic bags, our butchery will now be wrapping meat up in greaseproof paper and we no longer use plastic straws.”

The shop will also stop stocking water in plastic bottles, but will willingly refill customers’ water containers for free.

Butcher Nick says the initiative is like stepping back in time.

“It is like it used to be when I started as a butcher in the 1970s,” he said.

“Not only is wrapping meat in greaseproof paper better for the environment, it is also better for the meat - it keeps it much better.

“The wrapped meat can go straight into the freezer too.

“At the moment, the only thing we can’t get rid of the plastic in is the vacuum packed items such as bacon; there doesn’t seem to be an alternative at the moment, but we are trying to source something.”

There is also currently no alternative to cling film, which is used in the coffee shop.

Hazel said: “Although a biodegradable form was manufactured, we are told it has been withdrawn due to lack of interest. I cannot believe this, but it is true.

“I rang the company who produced it myself and was told they no longer produce it as there was no demand for it.

“If you want this product, you must shout louder and let cling film manufacturers know that you want a viable solution.

“In the meantime, Tupperware boxes can negate the need for clingfilm and we try and use these wherever possible.

“Our customers have been really supportive of the initiative.

“We by no means have all the answers, but as we come to the end of each supply of items, we are looking at more environmentally friendly alternatives.”

Sunnyside Up is working with their suppliers to encourage them to think about alternatives too, and are always pleased to hear from anyone with any suggestions.

Hazel added: “We care about our environment, it’s what farming is about for us, protecting the land for future generations.”