Dawlish against Plastic 2021 reflections
As 2021 draws to a close, we wanted to thank all our volunteers and friends and wish them all the best for the coming year. Continuing our activities through a second year of living with covid has been challenging, and we have sometimes felt that we’ve not been able to achieve much.
However, in taking time to look back to gather a few highlights, we realised that we have actually achieved quite a lot, despite operating in pandemic conditions. We’ve also reminded ourselves of the value of pausing – taking time to reflect and to celebrate what we’ve done – before we head off into 2022. Plans for 2022 are shaping up (covid dependent of course), but in the meantime, here’s a snapshot of what we did achieve in 2021. Worthy of a celebratory cuppa and piece of cake!
Our 2021 summary.
- Work with local independent businesses to help them to achieve Plastic Free Status awarded by Surfers Against Sewage continues. There have been 5 more awards since the first lockdown, making the total 14.
- Monthly beach cleans have continued and when Open Daw was forced to close, DAP took on the monthly Town Litter Picks. Many thanks to Rosie Dawson and her family who have kindly taken on the day-to-day responsibilities of this.
- Our beach cleans have been supported by members of Dawlish Rotary Club and The Mint Methodist Church in Exeter. We have also lent equipment to British Telecom and HSBC bank staff to do independent beach cleans and are enabling a young Dawlish girl to gain experience for her Duke of Edinburgh award.
- Our thanks also go to Katherine Dawson, our Young People’s Ambassador. She has been very active on social media with her videos about reducing plastic and taking care of the environment.
- Community Action Groups Devon (CAG Devon) have awarded us a Revitalise grant so that we can promote refill in the town. This is mainly concentrated on coffee refills and will target local cafes and take-aways to encourage people to use refillable cups instead of single use. For those who are hesitant to reuse we have ideas for providing a contactless service and if anyone has any suggestions or would like to get involved, please contact us.
- We participated in the Carnival by giving a talk in the marquee and had a stall at ‘The Great Big Green Week’ event on 18th September. We also hosted an additional beach clean and the monthly town litter pick during the week.
- With two grants from councillors, we were able to purchase 400 of the new addition of the Ramblers booklets, ’25 Walks Around Teignmouth & Dawlish’, and have distributed many of these free to local businesses to promote low impact tourism. Thank you to those councillors for their support and to the businesses and organisations that took part.
- Staff at Sainsbury’s, Dawlish chose Open Daw and Dawlish Against Plastic as the organisations they wished to support as part of their 150 years celebrations. They supported us by attending beach cleans and donating money from the collection boxes at the tills.
- Monthly articles in the Dawlish Gazette continue to be published and Dave Hutton has recently taken on the writing role. They are published on our website.
- We were also able to support the excellent ‘Save our Planet’ initiative, led by Cllr Rosie Dawson, by providing plaques for the participating schools. The children’s work can be seen here.
- Our DAP train was in use again this year. It was an exhibit on the Teignmouth seafront as part of TRAIL art and was part of the recent lantern parade on The Lawn prior to the Christmas lights switch on.
- DAP had a stall at the Sunday Christmas market, encouraging people to ditch plastic at Christmas by promoting alternatives and offering reusable items for sale.
- Looking forward, Dave Hutton is revitalising plans for our original idea of a ‘Go Green Fest’ which was cancelled due to covid. The new proposal suggests a marine environment theme. Our thanks go to councillors who have already contributed to funding this project.
- We thank the Town Council for its continuing support for DAP activities.
Don’t forget some dates for 2022:
- First Saturday of each month – beach clean.
- Last Saturday of each month – town clean.
- 2nd June – Turn the Tide festival.
We look forward to seeing you soon.