Oadby businesses support town’s campaign for Plastic Free status

Published: Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Mayor of Oadby & Wigston with representatives from Epic Accessories and Zeph's Cafe after presenting them with their Plastic Free Oadby certificates and plaques

Two Oadby businesses are leading by example and calling on others to join them in their efforts to create a plastic free community.

Plastic Free Communities, a network led by Surfers Against Sewage, has recognised Zeph’s Café and Epic Accessories as Plastic Free Business Champions, and they have been presented with a ‘Plastic Free Oadby’ certificate and plaque at a ceremony led by the Mayor of Oadby & Wigston.

Epic Accessories are tackling their single-use plastic usage through methods such as moving to paper packaging for items like lightbulbs and buying ‘plastic neutral’ products where possible, whilst Zeph’s Café has switched to paper takeaway containers and removed plastic cutlery. Both businesses now also buy refillable items, such as hand soap, in bulk to reduce the need for individually packaged items.

To be recognised as a Business Champion, organisations must fully eliminate three sources of single-use plastic from their daily operations and show a commitment to tackling more moving forward.

Appointing Business Champions is just one aspect of being recognised as a Plastic Free Community, something which Oadby has been working towards with the support of Oadby & Wigston Borough Council (OWBC) since February 2020.

OWBC pledged to reduce their own use of single-use plastics throughout the council, as well as appointing a councillor to represent the council on the Plastic Free Oadby Steering Group, which includes representatives from the local Rotary Club, Oadby Town Centre Association, and local community organisations who co-ordinate the town’s Plastic Free efforts.

Mayor of Oadby & Wigston, Councillor Rosemarie Adams, said: “Well done to Zeph’s Café and Epic Accessories for this fantastic achievement towards a more sustainable future. We all have a role to play when it comes to protecting our environment, and eliminating these single-use items for sustainable alternatives is a great step.

“I really encourage further Oadby businesses as well as residents to get involved with Plastic Free Communities and pledge to do their bit, and the council will continue to lead by example and continue to tackle our own use of single-use plastics.”

Sam Gutteridge of Epic Accessories said: “It’s great to be recognised for the changes that we have made, and hopefully this is just the first step on our plastic-free journey.

“There’s still work to be done so Oadby can achieve Plastic Free Community status, which includes recognising 10 more Business Champions, so I really encourage other local businesses to sign-up and begin making changes today.”

Frazer Robson of Zeph’s Café said: “Becoming a Business Champion is an important step in our efforts towards a more sustainable future, and really highlights how small changes made by many people can have a real impact.

“It’s not just for businesses however – individuals can also pledge to make a change at home, work or school. Plastic pollution has a huge impact on the global environment, but changing our behaviours around single-use items such as cups, straws and packaging is a positive move in the right direction.”

Oadby businesses and residents who wish to get involved with Plastic Free Oadby should contact plasticfreeoadby@gmail.com, or search for ‘Plastic Free Oadby’ on Facebook.