Tar Barrels 2019 aims to reduce plastic food containers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 October 2019

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

Archant

Ottery's biggest event is setting its sights on reducing the use of plastic food containers after its inaugural scheme reduced waste by nearly 90 per cent.

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 Tar Barrels committee introduced a souvenir recyclable plastic cup last year to curb the amount of single-use plastic left behind.

The committee says its focus this year is plastic fast food containers and says it will allow traders to use recyclable or biodegradable containers only.

A spokesman said: "Our initiative for the Tar Barrels event last year was to reduce the amount of waste strewn all over the streets of Ottery.

"We all know every year the event brings thousands of people to our streets, which inevitably creates a lot of waste all over the town. The type of waste we are talking about was made up almost entirely of single use plastic.

Ottery Tar Barrels 2018. Picture: Alex Walton PhotographyOttery Tar Barrels 2018. Picture: Alex Walton Photography

"We saw an almost 90 per cent reduction in waste across the entire event footprint which was fantastic.

"The aim was and remains clear. We needed to and will continue to reduce the environmental impact the event has on the town. As promised last year, our aim was to go further this year with regards to fast food containers. Our plan there is only allowing the traders to use recyclable or biodegradable containers to distribute their food. This also creates a safer environment for our rollers, when you have a flaming tar barrel perched on your shoulders, the last thing you need are tin cans or loads of slippery plastic under your feet."

The scheme was able to get up and running thanks to donations from the owners of the London Inn, Volunteer Inn and Rusty Pig.

The owners of the Lamb and Flag pub have announced they will be sponsoring the cup this year.

The cup is made of 100 per cent recyclable plastic.

Visitors will be able to buy a cup on their visit to the bar and either return it at the end of the evening or take it away as a souvenir.

There will be a number of points around the town again this year to return the cups.

Organisers have announced roads will be closed in stages on the evening, starting from 3.30pm.

Programmes and timings of this year's barrels are available in the town.

Turn to page 25 for details of road closures for Tar Barrels.

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