Durham’s Gala Theatre has an innovative plan to reduce plastic waste at this year’s panto.

In previous pantomimes, a shower of plastic confetti has been released to mark the finale of each show. This year, however, the Gala will use a more environmentally friendly type of confetti – made from paper – instead.

It is hoped this will help Durham County Council – which owns the Gala Theatre – meet targets to reduce the quantity of single-use plastics it gets through.

Gala panto confetti 2
The new confetti is made from more environmentally friendly paper

The manager of the Durham Gala Theatre, Robin Byers, said, “As a venue, we want to do what we can to ensure that our impact on the environment is as minimal as possible.”

“Our pantomime is every bit as magical for families this year, but this simple change means we can take a big step towards a fairy-tale ending of reducing the amount of plastic we throw away.”

Durham County Council is also cooperating with other organisations – such as Durham University, Durham Business Improvement District (BID) and the Environment Agency – to decrease the amount of plastic waste produced.

Many council staff members have started drinking from reusable coffee cups, meaning that tens of thousands of disposable cups no longer end up in the rubbish.

Gala Panto confetti 1
The new confetti will mean hundreds of kilos less plastic waste

Oliver Sherratt, chair of the council’s Single Use Plastic Task Group, said, “Already, since introducing the cups, we have seen hundreds of people make the switch and we will be encouraging more people to make this simple change, to help us reduce the amount of waste we produce.”

“It is also great to see that all of our services are looking for ways to lessen their environmental impact, and the Gala’s fantastic panto effort will help prevent hundreds of kilogrammes of plastic from going to landfill.”

Durham County Council has also been involved in a project using hard-to-recycle waste plastics to resurface roads.  

This year’s panto at the Gala – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – will kick off its 73-show run on November 22nd.

Snow White will see panto favourites Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley travelling to the magic village of Fairyhill, where Rupert Von Rottenchops and his crony Corporal Crosby plan to cause chaos and steal the residents’ cash.

Will Snow White, Chester the Jester and their mam Dame Dolly Doodle be able to stop the evildoers with the help of their seven little chums?

You can book panto tickets by going to www.galadurham.co.uk or telephoning 03000 266 600.

(The images in this article show Paul Hartley as Chester the Jester and Neil Armstrong as Rupert Von Rottenchops, along with the new, environmentally friendly confetti.)

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