The Seaforth Goes plastic-Free!
An award-winning Ullapool restaurant has won praise from campaigning highlands MSP Kate Forbes after deciding to remove all single use plastics from its business operations.
The Seaforth Bar and Restaurant joined other businesses in making Ullapool the first plastic straw-free village in Britain following a campaign by pupils from Ullapool and Sunnyside primary schools.
Now it has won backing from the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP, who wants to make the UK straw-free, after opting to use renewable alternatives across its operations, to curb marine litter.
The harbour-side site of the business dates back to the village’s formation and regulars cherish the sea views over Loch Broom to the Outer Hebrides.
All plastic forks, knifes and spoons have been removed from its popular fish bar and fish supper and burger boxes are now being switched over to biodegradable materials.
Staff explained the changes to local B and B owners on Friday (9th Feb) as it re-opened its bar and restaurant following extensive renovation which celebrates the business’ maritime heritage.
Staff have also committed to beach clean-ups throughout the year.
“I’m really impressed with the Seaforth’s decision to eliminate all single use plastics from its business operations,” said Kate Forbes.
“There is a serious problem of excessive plastic litter washing up on our beaches and everyone needs to play their part.
“It is a lot easier for consumers to change their behaviour if businesses make it easier for customers to make the right choices about plastic use.
“I hope that in hearing more about how The Seaforth has made the move, it will motivate other businesses to do the same thing.”
General Manager of The Seaforth, Lachlan Robertson, said the business would continue to assess what other steps might be taken to keep the marine environment plastic free.
"We will continue to look at our operations to see if there are more ways we can improve our footprint overall. Through the refurbishment, which draws on our nautical history, we are investing in the business but we also need to ensure, like all the other businesses here, that people continue to come to Ullapool and enjoy the clean waters and the beautiful landscape we have. We are all delighted to be part of the successful North Coast 500 route so environmental care is important.”
Delia Keating, The Seaforth’s Marketing Manager, said it was the local school kids who inspired the move.
“We were really pleased to support the children in their straw campaign. What they have achieved in bringing this to wider attention is remarkable.
“On the back of that, and Kate’s campaign, we decided to look at our own responsibilities and to see if there was more we could be doing.
“The sea has been such an important element of the Seaforth’s history, and our customers don’t want to be looking out over the loch and seeing litter and plastics everywhere, not to mention the damage it can cause to marine wildlife.”
Following closure for extensive refurbishment, The Seaforth is now fully operational with nautical colours and boat panelling decoration, new seafood menus and loyalty options.
At Friday’s re-opening launch, future plans were also announced to renovate the fish bar and outer patio areas at the Quay Street site.