Cornwall is often referred to as “God’s County” but our beautiful coastline is not immune to plastic pollution and our countryside is, sadly, often littered with the remnants of our unwanted rubbish. The people in the far west of Cornwall are making a change and a real difference to the environment we live in. St Justin is based in Penzance, in the far west of Cornwall, and thanks to the hard work and efforts of many people, has the honour of being the first town in the UK to be designated as “plastic free”.

Due to this initiative, we have taken a hard look at how our business affects the environment and have taken many steps to make St Justin as environmentally friendly as possible. This has been a long process that has involved the entire team. We are incredibly proud of all the changes we have introduced in the last few years, and we want to tell you about it!

Where shall we start?  Firstly, we design and manufacture our products here in Cornwall so, when we send out orders to our UK customers, we have a much smaller carbon footprint than some of our competitors who import goods from overseas.  We also source as many of the components we need to create our products from within the UK.

Secondly and, probably most importantly, we have worked hard to make our factory in Penzance as green as possible. We are lucky to live in a (mostly) sunny climate so we have 118 solar panels installed on our factory roof. When the sun is shining they generate a substantial amount of the electricity we use in a day. Of course, it rains a lot too, so we have installed rain tanks. The water from these tanks is used in as many of the processes in the factory that require water as we can – reducing our water consumption by 50%! We have installed a new lighting system that means that lights only switch on if you are working under them – if not they automatically switch off. We have systems in the mens’ toilets that only flush minimally.

Another big move is that we have recently changed all the packaging for our products.  No more plastic boxes – our new boxes are fully recyclable and when products are dispatched, they are packed in cardboard – recycled newspapers are used to fill out any spaces in boxes!  Any excess paper we create in the office is taken away and shredded for animal bedding, and all plastic, tins and cardboard are collected fortnightly for recycling.

We also recycle as much of the raw materials we use in our products as possible.  We make our own Cornish bronze using 100% recycled copper. Our pewter casting process recycles around 70% of each cast back into the melting pot. All dross and dust extracted waste is recycled to retrieve the pewter. We cast all our silver jewellery and recycle around 60% of each cast through a refining process together with all the filings, sprues and dust. Finally, we use tin that was mined in 1863, recovered from the seabed after 150 years, and make products of Cornish tin with a unique pedigree.

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