COMMUNITY based environmental group Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) had a busy and productive 2018 and are looking back on different projects and campaigns.

Plastic Free Penarth

Early in the year GPG signed up to the national Surfers against Sewage ‘Plastic Free Communities’ campaign that aims to reduce the use of polluting single-use plastics. The campaign was launched at a public meeting that included speakers from the Sea Dragon expedition, Repair Café Wales, No Straw Stand, Penarth Beach Wardens and more. There has been strong engagement with the campaign from local residents, other community groups, such as the Penarth Scouts and Penarth Youth Action, and Penarth Town Council. Key to the campaign have been local traders, with many accepting the challenge of removing three items of single-use plastic from their businesses. The Crepe Escape were the first to achieve the target followed by Jo’s Organics, Foxy’s Deli and many more. The campaign has reached all the benchmarks needed to gain ‘Plastic Free Penarth’ accreditation from the national campaign, and this status should be announced early in 2019.

Shop Penarth

Following its rebranding and relaunch in 2017, GPG’s flagship ‘Shop Penarth’ scheme has continued to grow. With more than 50 independent businesses on board, the scheme encourages people to shop locally which is good for the local economy and helps reduce the towns carbon emissions due to fewer car journeys. Supporting local independent businesses also helps maintain a vibrant high street and town centre at a time when many local high streets are in serious decline which impacts negatively on communities. GPG say that the success of the scheme is testament to the many and varied hard working independent businesses in the town, but that this should never be taken for granted.

2018 also saw the scheme launch its first merchandise with stylish and sustainable bamboo Shop Penarth keep-cups and stainless-steel water bottles now on sale across Penarth. More information on the scheme can be found at

Local Food

The GPG Penarth Local Food Festival has become a main fixture on the Penarth calendar, but 2018's event had to be cancelled following 24 hours of heavy rain and winds that made the site unsafe. GPG are looking into alternative arrangements for this year’s event and more details will be published later in the year.

Continuing with the local food theme, 2018 did see the return of Apple Day in late October. The event was a celebration of the local and the seasonal with visitors enjoying a range of local ciders, preserves and produce alongside freshly pressed juice made from local apples.

More trees

Now in its ninth year the GPG Community Orchard at Cosmeston is becoming well established with fruit trees and the edible hedgerow doing well. Six new apple trees were added to the orchard early in 2018 planted by pupils from Sully Primary School. The orchard is regularly maintained by GPG volunteers and there are plans to plant another 10 apple trees this month thanks to a donation from one of the volunteers.

In 2018 GPG also donated 10 fruit trees to the Penarth Youth Action group which were planted in Wordsworth Park.

Access Penarth

Recognising the challenges faced by many people in accessing local businesses and shops due to physical and other disabilities, GPG together with other groups have launched a new project ‘Access Penarth’ which the current town mayor, Councillor Jon Luxton is leading in his mayoral year. Working with local businesses it is hoped to make Penarth a truly welcoming and accessible town to everyone.

Going forward

GPG will continue to develop their existing projects in the coming year and will be looking at further projects to engage the local community.GPG have recently signed up to the Refill Cymru scheme and will be launching a Refill Penarth scheme this January to help reduce the use of plastic water bottles.

GPG committee member Anthony Slaughter said: "We are very pleased with the ongoing success of the projects. The strong level of public engagement is very encouraging and key to the ongoing sustainability of the projects.

"We’re looking forward to another year of working with the community to make Penarth a more sustainable and resilient town."

For more information on GPG,