Ottery Tar Barrels bans single use plastic in ‘historic’ move

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:28 07 November 2018

Tar Barrel committee members and sponsors with the new reusable and recyclable souvenir cups. Ref sho 44 18TI 4117. Picture: Terry Ife

Tar Barrel committee members and sponsors with the new reusable and recyclable souvenir cups. Ref sho 44 18TI 4117. Picture: Terry Ife

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A ‘trailblazing’ scheme banning single use plastic cups from Ottery’s famous Tar Barrels is set to make history when it comes into force on Monday.

The new Tar Barrels reusable and recyclable souvenir cup. Ref sho 44 18TI 4121. Picture: Terry IfeThe new Tar Barrels reusable and recyclable souvenir cup. Ref sho 44 18TI 4121. Picture: Terry Ife

The event’s committee is challenging the amount of waste left behind by creating a souvenir cup and says it is leading the way for other major public events to go plastic-free.

The move follows the news of Ottery securing plastic-free status from Surfers Against Sewage.

Some 16,000 cups have been ordered after generous sponsorship from the owners of the London Inn, Volunteer Inn and Rusty Pig to create the design by Emma Wickham.

The cup is made from 100 per cent recyclable and will cost £1.

Tar Barrel committee members and sponsors with the new reusable and recyclable souvenir cups. Ref sho 44 18TI 4116. Picture: Terry IfeTar Barrel committee members and sponsors with the new reusable and recyclable souvenir cups. Ref sho 44 18TI 4116. Picture: Terry Ife

Emma’s husband Rob, the event organiser, said: “We are making history at an already historic event.

“It’s a win for the town and for the event because we make a bit of money out of it, it’s a win for the environment because there is going to be a massive reduction in waste on the street and its going to be a win for the tax payer as its going to cost less to clear up which as far as I’m concerned.”

Committee members said streets have been left looking like ‘Armageddon’ as people are forced to wade through plastic, glass and cans left behind.

Vendors are supporting the event by decanting drinks into the cup, and the committee says from 2019 stallholders will be asked to sell food and drink in 100 per cent biodegradable containers.

Tar Barrel committee members and sponsors with the new reusable and recyclable souvenir cups. Ref sho 44 18TI 4117. Picture: Terry IfeTar Barrel committee members and sponsors with the new reusable and recyclable souvenir cups. Ref sho 44 18TI 4117. Picture: Terry Ife

Committee members said the move will protect the thousands of visitors, and the barrelers, from tripping on discarded plastic.

The cups are nonrefundable and visitors can keep them or return them to pubs or drop-off points.

Mike Down, of the Volunteer Inn, said nothing like this has been tried before.

“Safeguarding the event is the biggest priority that we all have and by bringing little things like this in we are then going to, hopefully,” he said. “My grandchildren, everyone’s grandchildren - that roll will be able to roll in the future because of things that we put into place now.”

The cups will be used at all future Tar Barrel fundraisers and the committee aims to make the event’s programme from 100 per cent recycled material.

Heading to Tar Barrels? Here are the roads that will be closed on the night.

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