A NEW mobile coffee shop has become the first business in Bournemouth to be declared plastic-free.

Robyn Martin – who had worked for a large chain for three years – set up her mobile business Beans & Bytes in March to serve hand-picked artisan coffee, Fairtrade hot drinks and cakes.

The Christchurch resident said: “It has long been a brainchild of mine. Coming back from learning the trade in Australia, I wanted to bring the coffee culture to the UK – their passion for hand crafted and no tolerance for simply ‘OK’ coffee. Returning to a large chain, I was shocked at how much plastic and waste the coffee industry generated. Thus Beans & Bites was born.

“What really matters to me is bringing alive the coffee culture I experienced and loved, but in a sustainable way. So I went to massive lengths to ensure my business had as little impact on the environment as possible. From sourcing locally to reduce my carbon footprint, using renewable energy to power the coffee equipment and researching extensively how I could get the product, I wanted using recyclable, recycled, and plastic free materials.

“So far I have had good reception, not only for the solar powered coffee but also the concept, and the service. During Beans & Bites’ first summer we will be attending Christchurch Music Festival, Mudeford Seafood Festival and Burley Food Fest among others –providing visitors high quality service as well as building up my growing and loyal local trade.”

Beans & Bites can also be found at Christchurch Market on Mondays and Lymington market on Wednesdays.

The designation of plastic-free status came from the campaigning body Surfers Against Sewage.

It said: “We’ve been hugely impressed by the ideas of the businesses, not just scratching the surface but demonstrating commitment to real and effective change, helping bring about a shift in our buying and lifestyle habits.”

Plastic Free Bournemouth community leader Beata Springer said: “We were amazed with Robyn’s motivation to be plastic-free right from the beginning of her business journey. She doesn’t cut corners but actively reduces her environmental impact. So impressive! Others can only learn from her and we hope she will lead the way for the rest of Bournemouth.”