Falmouth’s community fire station became the first fire station in the UK to be titled ‘Plastic Free’ earlier this week.

The staff at Falmouth station teamed up with local community campaign group ‘Plastic Free Falmouth’ to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used by the fire crew.

The idea came from the fire station’s Watch Manager Stuart Williams, he said: “Following the storms of last year the station decided to assist in helping clear some of the local beaches of debris with other organisations, it became apparent that a lot of the debris on the beach consisted mainly of plastic.

“I wanted to try to help our station become plastic free champions, by linking in with plastic free Falmouth and Falmouth Town Council, who have supported us in providing a grant so all staff at the Fire station could use an Aluminium reusable drinks bottle.”

Stuart approached Kirstie Edwards, leader of the Plastic Free Falmouth campaign just over a year ago at a town council meeting to put forward his idea. Kirstie said: “I had just given a formal presentation in the chambers, requesting support for our campaign, which we unanimously received, when Stuart approached me.

“Stuart applied for a grant from Falmouth Town Council and also approached his own fire stations charity committee for support, both were granted. Then we had to apply to use the Cornwall fire and rescue service logo, which we are grateful to Cornwall Council for allowing us to for this project.”

To be granted the title of ‘plastic free’, the station had to remove at least three single-use plastic items and swap them for sustainable alternatives. The team chose to begin by replacing plastic bottles, which they would get through thousands of each year, with refillable aluminium ones. They also replaced plastic cups with paper ones and plastic cutlery in the station with traditional metal washable alternatives.

Falmouth Mayor, Grenville Chapel, said: “The plastic free initiative has really taken off in Falmouth and this is great news to help alleviate this environmental problem. Falmouth Town Council fully supports Plastic Free Falmouth in their endeavours to continue the progress they are making with local businesses, organisations and the community.”