We started with a plan to create something to enter into Dawlish Carnival in 2019. The train idea relates to Dawlish’s famous railway station and line that was destroyed in the ‘extreme weather’ event of 2014.
We wanted to involve the community, so after sourcing the base and wheels (eventually used as buffers) from the Brunel Road Recycling Centre, we took it to Dawlish Community College, where the technician there used recycled wood to build the superstructure and added some wheels. The train then moved to Gatehouse School where pupils and staff added the wire mesh, plastic bottles and painted the wood.
The train symbolises the journey we need to take to reduce our consumption of plastic. “On track to reduce plastic” – recycling is not enough. In the UK, we buy 7.7 billion plastic bottles every year - about 130 each for every man, woman and child. Two-thirds of plastic waste in the UK is sent overseas to be recycled because we do not have the capacity here, yet much of it goes to poorer countries with even less infrastructure to deal with it. This practice was banned by the EU in Jan 2021, but the UK chose not to follow suit. Moreover, ALL this exported plastic waste is counted as being re-cycled in official figures! Nowhere near enough plastic is recycled and when it is, it degrades into lower quality material. Whereas a recycled tin can makes another tin can, a recycled plastic drinks bottle does not make another bottle.
We entered the Dawlish Carnival parade in 2019 and won First Prize, being the only entrant in our category!! The train was on display at the crazy golf facility in the town centre and then at The Manor House. It took part in the 2019 Teignmouth and Dawlish Lantern parades. We are delighted to be able to enter the train in the Trailart Recycled Art In the Landscape exhibition.