Bury St Edmunds campaigner happy not to draw straws

Karen Cannard, left, and MP Jo Churchill, reflect on their challenge
Karen Cannard, left, and MP Jo Churchill, reflect on their challenge

At the half way point of the Plastic Lent Challenge with MP Jo Churchill, waste campaigner Karen Cannard talks plastic punnets and businesses doing their bit.

Karen says her #giveupplasticforlent campaign has been going well so far and has found it has helped her in many ways.

“One of the key changes has been focusing on buying seasonal fruit so we have avoided produce in punnets, which has also helped to reduce food miles,” she said.

“I forgot to put our recycling bin out this week but was surprised to see that it was only half full due to the small changes that we have made, we’ll still be able to fit in our next fortnight’s recycling.”

Karen backed businesses who were also taking part, including pubs who stopped giving out plastic straws and instead had paper straws available.

She said: “Independent pubs such as Oakes Barn and the Bear Inn in Beyton are already ahead of the game, along with national pub and restaurant chains such as Wetherspoons, Wagamama and Café Rouge. Waitrose has announced it will also stop selling plastic straws by September.

“It is great to see that shoppers, businesses as well as the local market are making changes. These really do make a difference.”

Karen did say, though, she had found difficulties.

She said: “The Beast from the East brought the biggest challenge as well as coming down with the flu.

“Planning is also a challenge, balancing the need to reduce plastic while avoiding food waste. Understanding storage really helps and I recommend the website www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for top tips on how to store produce to keep it fresher for longer.”

Her advice for people taking the challenge was to keep believing that the changes were making a difference.