In March, Beamish signed the Durham County Council Single Use Pledge and have been working hard to remove unnecessary single use plastic wherever possible. Over the last 9 months they have introduced a number of measures, including:
- Eradicated plastic bottles – they no longer sell water in plastic bottles and only have canned or glass bottled drinks for sale. In addition, they promote the Northumbrian Water Refill Campaign, and have complimentary drinking water available in all food outlets.
- Eliminated plastic bags – the museum no longer sells plastic bags in retail outlets, with most areas offering a sustainable tote or jute bag for sale
- Introduced paper straws in food outlets, but do still have plastic for visitors with accessible needs
- Eco Christmas crackers – only purchase Christmas crackers that do not have plastic toys inside
- Identified other sources/alternative products – reviewing all elements of single use plastic across the museum and removing where possible, i.e. food outlets no longer use cling film, and they have changed all disposable catering packaging to recyclable
- Changed to E-dose system for cleaning materials
- Challenge suppliers to make changes – they have contacted all suppliers and advised them of their own policies, and asked for their own information, so that the museum can ensure they are only using suppliers aligned with their own strategies. Additionally, they are encouraging suppliers to change packaging methods to reduce waste.
Lisa Wilkinson, Sustainability Manager, said “Plastic waste is one of the most important issues facing our planet today and as a museum, we want to make changes that significantly reduce plastic pollution in the future and the impact it has on our environment”.
As a whole organisation, Beamish Museum is committed to providing a high-quality visitor experience whilst minimising the environmental impact of their activities. They believe it is their ethical responsibility to invest in the future, now and for generations to come. They are working towards fostering smart, inclusive growth by creating a self-reliant and sustainable museum, reducing its carbon footprint by minimising waste and energy consumption, generating renewable electricity, and heating systems across the site.
To find out more, please visit www.beamish.org.uk