Falmouth Marine Conservation Group, which is led by two University of Exeter students, has helped the Cornish town achieve Plastic Free Community Status.
The status was secured on Monday, March 5, following a presentation to Falmouth Town Council, which unanimously voted to support plastic-free initiatives in the town.
The group was supported by Plastic Free Falmouth, a sister group also founded by the two students.
Falmouth Marine Conservation Group and Plastic Free Falmouth were founded by Meg Hayward-Smith and Jade Getliff who are both studying at the University’s Penryn campus.
The Plastic Free Community Status, which is awarded by Surfers Against Sewage, required the group to achieve five aims which included having local businesses remove single-use plastic items in favour of sustainable alternatives.
On the town being awarded the status, Meg Hayward-Smith a first-year student studying marine biology and founder of the two groups said, “Falmouth Marine Conservation is proud to support the Plastic Free Falmouth Campaign, it has been a massive team collaboration to get the status for Falmouth.
“The town has really pulled together to meet Surfers Against Sewage’s plastic-free objectives, with businesses and individuals alike all doing their part.
“The list of plastic-free businesses is growing fast and we look forward to working with more businesses, schools, and other groups to keep up the fight against plastic.”
Falmouth is the third town in Cornwall to achieve the status, after Penzance and Perranporth.
University of Exeter academics and staff worked to support the campaign, with co-founder Jade Getliff, a second-year student also studying Marine Biology, stressing her gratitude, “The academics in CLES have been hugely supportive of me throughout this journey to form a strong bond between Falmouth Marine Conservation and the University of Exeter.
“Professor Brendan Godley has been influential in inspiring Falmouth Marine Conservation members to support us in reaching the monumental goal of making Falmouth a plastic-free town, through delivering talks for the public on our behalf.”