Beach Guardian based in Padstow, Cornwall have received a national recycling award for their outstanding work in recycling drink cans and raising awareness of the impact to the environment by people not recycling.
The Every Can Counts Green Can Award has been awarded to Beach Guardian co-founders – father and daughter duo Rob Stevenson and Emily Stevenson.
Beach Guardian was established in 2017 and organises voluntary beach cleans, on average one every week with around 25 people volunteering. Litter and marine plastics are collected, taken back to their Lab in Padstow where it is sorted and cleaned, to take into schools in Cornwall and run art and educational workshops.
They also engage with businesses and organisations to encourage their staff to volunteer and to reduce their reliance on unnecessary single use plastics. This has meant getting retailers, shops and takeaways to switch from drinks in plastic bottles to drinks in cans, including brands such as Life Water and Canowater. Beach Guardian have used social media to regularly post about their activities. This has encouraged people within Cornwall to save and recycle their cans which has meant a huge increase in awareness amongst the various coastal communities.
Recycling bins have been distributed throughout Cornwall to the Council, cafes and shops, including outdoor ones at the Falmouth Maritime Museum, Old Macdonald’s Farm and Rick Stein’s restaurants in Padstow and Newquay. Beach Guardian have teamed up with Henry Orchard and Sons to recycle all the drink cans collected.
Henry Orchard says “Here in the UK we recycle twice as much as we did 15 years ago, but there’s still a long way to go. We’re proud to do our bit with our involvement with Every Can Counts and Beach Guardian, as well as our own safe and efficient metal and waste electricals processing. We have been taking in aluminium cans and giving a donation to the Beach Guardian project for every bag we receive as part of this initiative.”
Presenting the award Kate Cole Programme Manager for Every Can Counts says “It is an honour to present a Green Can Award to Beach Guardian. This is a fantastic example of how collecting and recycling drinks cans and other metal packaging not only generates much needed funds it also makes a significant contribution to the environment.”
Rob Stevenson Co-Founder and Director of Beach Guardian says “We would like to see every business switch from selling drinks in Plastic Bottles to Aluminium Cans. Even with the introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme, plastic bottles can only be recycled up to 18 times whereas Aluminium can be recycled and used again and again to make new packaging and Aluminium is endlessly recyclable cutting down on waste and saving energy too.”
Every Can Counts is a free to use recycling initiative that aims to increase the number of drinks cans recycled, whether at work or while out and about.
The programme aims to increase the number of drinks cans recycled, whether at work or whilst out and about, by providing practical advice and support, including free communication materials and help with finding a recycling collection partner.