TWO businesses have been saluted for their part in efforts to make Dorchester a plastic-free community.

Brace of Butchers and Bridal Reloved, both based in Poundbury, were both early supporters of the initiative.

Edd Moore, teacher at Damers First School in Poundbury, has been working with the school’s Eco Club pupils to make Dorchester plastic-free, with guidance and support from Surfers Against Sewage.

The project stems from the work Mr Moore has been doing to create a plastic-free school, with features on BBC Newsround, a visit to Parliament last month and discussions with Bournemouth’s world-renowned environmentalist Jane Goodall.

Dorchester Chamber of Business is backing the effort to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics. It announced its support at its February meeting, attended by 75 businesses, and Damers School children have written to more than 300 businesses.

The plan is to visit businesses and organisations in person to encourage commitment and the campaigners say the response so far has been “great”.

Mr Moore is leading a steering group which will seek more support from community and business organisations throughout this year.

Brace of Butchers, in Poundbury’s Queen Mother Square, got involved by creating Naked Brace, an extension to its shop where people could buy staple foods in bulk using their own containers. It was opened by Prince Charles last November.

Tom Amery, owner of Brace of Butchers, said: ”We strongly believe local retail and enterprise need to offer points of difference and this is a highly effective way of generating behavioural change in the community.

“Edd and the children at Damers have inspired our business to support their community project. Furthermore, we have recently helped to create a Boomerang Bags Dorset organisation which is going to allow small and larger businesses to work with the community to make and distribute reusable bags made from unwanted fabric dropped off at locations such as Naked Brace. We are very happy to have been able to reduce single use plastic and while this may come at an initial commitment, the message is clear. The children have asked and they expect us to respond forthwith.”

Brace of Butchers received an award along with Bridal Reloved in Crown Square, Poundbury, the world’s only chain of pre-owned wedding dress boutiques.