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Cup launch kicks off greenest ever season for Hemsby tourism

A reusable cup scheme has been launched today as part of a drive for a Norfolk resort's greenest ever holiday season.

Hemsby cup launch - businesses taking part

Cafes and restaurants in Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, will offer customers a reusable cup from today to help put an end to single use disposable takeaway cups.

Tea and coffee drinkers will be encouraged to borrow a 'Hemsby Cup' in return for a £2 deposit, use and then return back to any participating café to get their money back.

The launch at Richardson's Yacht Club on Beach Road heard how each cup can be used over 1,000 times and is fully recyclable. Nine businesses in the village have signed up to the scheme, which is free for businesses to participate in.

The scheme is just one in a series of initiatives to help create a more sustainable tourism sector, with other upcoming projects including:

  • encouraging recycling with new bins for plastic, glass bottles, and cans
  • introducing smart bin technology along Beach Road to alert waste crews to full bins, preventing litter and increasing the collection efficiency to reduce vehicle related emissions
  • installing a sculptural "BottleShip" drop-off recycling bin inspired by the Hemsby lifeboat
  • a new Hemsby Community Fridge in the main village, where local food businesses and individuals can donate 'in date' items for free redistribution to the local community in order to reduce food waste
  • working with a start-up environmental firm to convert business' plastic waste into valuable new items, like furniture and jewellery.

Hemsby cup launch - cups on the beach

The green initiatives are being backed by FACET, a cross-European project to encourage 'circular' solutions which reduce waste, and includes projects in Netherlands, Belgium, and France as well as the UK, and is being delivered locally by Norfolk County Council working jointly with Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Cllr Paul Wells, chairman of the environment committee, said: "It's great to see that many businesses are thinking about how to prevent waste, move to a circular economy model and are making an effort to help the environment by becoming more sustainable.

"Changing to the use of reusable cups like the Hemsby Cup scheme means that customers and businesses can make positive changes to benefit the environment." 

Cllr James Bensly, who runs the Beach Café in Hemsby, said "The FACET community cup scheme for Hemsby is exactly what the tourism industry and local economy needs, a practical tool to help the visitors and local community in a more sustainable circular economy. This is a brave idea and one the businesses of Hemsby are embracing and we encourage others to follow suit."

Alongside the launch of the green tourism initiatives, today also sees the lighting up of a new low-energy illuminated sign in the village.

The 17m wide and 6m high sign spells out the Hemsby name in a central location on Beach Road, to encourage people to take photos and share their holiday experience.

The new attraction is a sister sign to the one recently unveiled in Great Yarmouth, and is supported by Visit Great Yarmouth. It is part of See Great Yarmouth In A Different Light project, supported by the government's Town Fund. Other parts of the project include decorative new lighting in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, and Hemsby.

Lyndon Bevan, chair of Visit Great Yarmouth, said the investment would lead to Great Yarmouth and the fun it offered visitors of all ages would be spread far and wide.
"These signs are a fun way to celebrate our vibrant tourism sector across the borough, and I'm sure they will feature in thousands of selfies over the coming season. It is great to be switching on the Hemsby sign as we shine a light on what we can do as tourist resorts to reduce our impact on the environment.

"Holidaying at home already offers a lower carbon footprint than flying abroad, but there is more we can do to be a green destination and is great to see Hemsby at the forefront of this."

FACET (Facilitate the Adoption of Circular Entrepreneurship in the Tourism and leisure sector) is an Interreg 2Seas project funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council. 

Any businesses wanting to get involved in the cup or other projects should contact to express interest.

Hemsby cup launch - Cllrs Carl Smith and James Bensly

Last modified on 21 June 2023

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