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Businesses can help make Porthcawl a plastic-free town

Businesses in Porthcawl are being asked to take a collective stand to support the environment by cutting down on single-use plastics.

In a move to help make Porthcawl a plastic-free town, Bridgend County Borough Council has teamed up with Porthcawl Town Council and Surfers Against Sewage to call on local businesses to stop using at least three plastic items.

Plastic straws, bottles and tops, cutlery, sauce sachets, drinking cups and lids, bags, as well as other on-the-go packaging are all among the biggest offenders when it comes to littering, and too many of them are damaging the planet after finding their way into the world’s oceans.

A dozen businesses have already signed up to do their bit. Among those taking action are Finnegans Fish Bar who have started using paper bags instead of plastic ones, while the Side Walk Café and the Cosy Corner restaurant have stopped using plastic straws.

The Side Walk Café has also stopped using plastic cutlery, plastic stirrers and sauce sachets.

I’m only a small independent so there’s a limit to what I can do alone, but I’m really happy to do my bit and help reduce the reliance on single-use plastics.

Claire Wootton, owner of The Side Walk Café

It is only by taking concrete, collective action that we can stop the flood of plastic pollution from overwhelming our world.

A community group Plastic Free Porthcawl has already been formed, as well as Keeping Porthcawl Tidy and various other volunteer groups who care about our environment, so there is a real desire to champion this cause and make Porthcawl one of the first plastic-free communities in Wales.

A number of businesses are taking small steps to making a big difference, and I’m really hopeful that lots more will follow suit soon.

Councillor Hywel Williams, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Deputy Leader

Bridgend County Borough Council will also soon be inviting Porthcawl businesses to attend a free workshop where they can discover more about the importance of reducing the use of polystyrene and plastics.

The local authority is also keen to encourage more businesses to sign up to the ‘Refill’ app which shows where people can fill up their reusable bottles with free tap water.

An excessive amount of unnecessary plastic is currently being used across the world. Surveys carried out by schoolchildren earlier this year revealed that plastic is the most commonly-littered material found on Porthcawl’s streets and beaches.

Even if the plastic waste wasn’t dropped on a beach, it can often end up there because rainwater and wind carries it from the streets into streams, rivers and drains, which all lead to the ocean. Once in the sea, plastic decomposes very slowly, breaking down in to tiny pieces known as micro plastics that can be incredibly damaging to sea life.

The old mantra of ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ is hugely important here. We must choose to recycle our plastic items wherever possible, carry a re-usable bottle for filling up water on the go, and reduce how much single-use plastic we get through in our daily lives.

Councillor Hywel Williams, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Deputy Leader

To find out more about the ambitions to make Porthcawl a plastic-free town, please call Bridgend County Borough Council on 01656 643452 or email For more information about the Refill app, please visit

The Side Walk Café in Porthcawl is one of the businesses that has already cut down on single-use plastics. They’re now using card straws as well as wooden cutlery and stirrers.

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