Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre aiming to become plastic-free
The staff at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre at Craven Arms are pulling together with their visitors to reduce the amount of single use plastic used around the site, moving towards cutting it out all together in the coming months.
Over the last year, the team at the centre has made steps to remove plastic cutlery, cups and straws from the café and have almost entirely replaced them with wooden and paper options. They have also replaced old takeaway containers with new biodegradable cardboard ones and have a free drink offer with every purchase of the eco reusable mugs that can be bought from the centre’s shop.
The centre’s branded sweets are now packaged in entirely biodegradable film packaging that is compostable and will also biodegrade in ocean water. The centre no longer provides plastic carrier bags of any kind and has replacement tough paper bags that can be used for shoppers to take their shopping home which can be reused.
In the coming months, the site will see new recycling bins for all visitors to use for their waste and the team will continue to seek out replacement options for all single use plastic that is used operationally.
Centre manager, Grant Wilson said: “It is very important to the charity and to us all as individuals that we make these steps to lessen our impact on our environment.
"Our mission is to connect people to the food, history and landscape of the Shropshire Hills and we want to preserve our countryside and oceans for years to come. We hope to cut out our use of single use plastic and encourage all of our visitors to do the same where possible.
"We offer reusable eco travel mugs at a discounted rate and have a range of bamboo products in our shop, replacing some of our plastic children’s toys. We have recently changed all of our lighting to LED which helps to reduce our energy usage. We are also a refill station for tap water, encouraging visitors to refill their water bottles rather than buy new ones.”
Entry to the Discovery Centre and Onny Meadows is free but there is a charge for visitors to enjoy the Shropshire Hills Through Time exhibition and visit the centre's mammoth.
The centre offers an extensive programme of family events, adult courses and a variety of activities for the whole family. The unique grass roofed building houses a replica of the famous mammoth skeleton found in Shropshire.