Leamington cafe doing their bit to tackle plastic waste

Sophie Eades, owner of Mashed Swedes with member of staff Cydney Shaffer.
Sophie Eades, owner of Mashed Swedes with member of staff Cydney Shaffer.

Another Leamington business owner has joined the fight against plastic waste.

Sophie Eades, who owns the Mashed Swedes cafe in Russell Street, has swapped from plastic carrier bags to branded tote bags.

The Mashed Swedes tote bag.

The Mashed Swedes tote bag.

The move is one of the many that the cafe has made to reduce the amount of their plastic waste.

Sophie said: “We were trying to cut down on our plastic waste anyway. We had already switched to paper cups, compostable take away cutlery and cardboard takeaway containers so our next step was the plastic bags.

“We used to give out plastic bags and we would go through quite a few when we had big lunch orders but now people will have the option of bringing their own bag or buying one of our tote bags.

“After Friday (February 16) we will no longer have plastic bags.

“We will be offering our tote bags at a discounted price of £2 if they buy one with a sandwich order. They cost £3 at full price.”

The new reusable bag has the Mashed Swedes logo on it.

Sophie added: “The bags are really nice and you are supporting a local business and doing a good deed at the same time.

“It is hugely important for businesses to make changes for the environment. These are small changes for us but if it encourages other people to also try it then that is great.

“Our next idea is to try and sort out the paper cups and I hope to get reusable cups and flasks.”

Sophie also campaigns to get supermarkets to reduce their plastic waste.

She said: “I have a bit of an ongoing war with supermarkets with trying to get them to reduce their packaging.

“Not many people are aware of this but once you have paid for say a cabbage that comes in a plastic bag you can take the cabbage out and leave the plastic bag in the shop.

“I went into Tesco on the Parade in Leamington and asked if I could do this. One guy was very helpful and another staff member asked why I would do that.

“There is no system in place for this at the moment.

“If you leave the plastic waste there for them to recycle or get rid of then it might make them more aware of how much waste they are creating.

“I also suggested to Tesco about using brown paper bags in the fruit and vegetable section instead of plastic bags.”

Tesco have been contacted for a statement.