One year on, the café at Roadford Lake is moving closer to achieving its goal of being single-use plastic free over the counter by 2020.

Some quick, easy fixes have included switching to paper straws, replacing plastic water bottles with aluminium cans, and using wooden takeaway cutlery. At Christmas, plastic free crackers were enjoyed by those attending carveries, which also contributed towards the charity Shelter, who support those facing homelessness. Furthermore, in line with the ReFill initiative, South West Lakes has a water station for visitors to fill their reusable drinking bottles with tap water, to encourage a move away from purchasing single use plastic water bottles.

The café has also been using Vegware as a supplier for all of their disposable catering equipment – for example, takeaway cups. Vegware are an eco-friendly disposables company that create all of their items from a plant-based substance; thus, their products are fully compostable. The café also stocks reusable bamboo Ecoffee Cups. The Ecoffee Cup website quotes that over 300 billion single-use cups are manufactured, 99% of which will never be recycled. Accordingly, South West Lakes have supplied all of their staff with one of these cups, free of charge.

The team at Roadford Lake have eradicated their previous use of condiment sachets with the introduction of sauce pumps and compostable sauce pots. They are also planning to use loose leaf tea in the near future; many people are unaware that tea bags contain micro-plastics, and they also think that loose leaf tea tastes great!

They are currently working with their suppliers to investigate how they can aid them in their goal; many businesses are keen to align with the worldwide consensus that disposable plastic is a serious problem that needs to be tackled.  According to Greenpeace, up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year, with the equivalent of a truckload every minute.

 Mike Weaver, Café Manager at Roadford Lake, said, ‘Despite plastic being ingrained in our society, we have our targets, which we are working each day to achieve. We are always looking for new ideas and ways in which we can help our local environment and, in turn, our planet.’

To find out more about the devastating impact of single-use plastic and the fantastic Re-Fill initiative, visit and You can also follow our progress on Facebook SW Lakes or Twitter @swlakes