Written by ED CULLINANE
A shop in Torpoint is making beautiful floral displays from rubbish washed up on local beaches — including over 100,000 aluminium cans.
Forever Blooms Metal Petals based at Cremyll started as an attempt to get litter off Cornwall’s sands.
Founder Chris Beardsmore, 54, created the business after being disappointed at the litter on a local beach while walking his dog.
Forever Blooms Metal Petals turn aluminium beer and drinks cans into gorgeous floral displays and flower bouquets.
The idea has proven so successful, that in 2020 it became former carer Chris’ full time job.
The flowers are in such high demand, that they have just been able to move into their first shop.
Chris said: “It all started because we were walking on the beach one day and the amount of waste that had been washed up was just atrocious, absolutely shameful.
“It just struck me as being such a shame, and I was determined to make something good out of the mess - so that it didn’t need to be picked up and was not washed out to sea.
“We looked at various things like plastics and netting, but the main thing people throw away is aluminium. Things like beer cans.
“We picked up some cans from the beach, did a few prototype flowers which weren’t very good but it was a start.
“After a while we got a bit better at it and showed them to a few people - and it just snowballed from there.
“We’ve now just opened our dream shop in a former newsagents.
“It’s a big step up, but now we can showcase our work, and the work people do across Cornwall and the UK too.”
Chris runs the company alongside his wife Emmaly, 47, her sister Louise Allen, 43, and Allen Rushton - who works part time.
The team claim to have recycled more than 100,000 cans since they began, and say they now regularly recycle around 500 to 1000 cans a week.
They have had particular success in creating decorative arrangements for memorials.
Chris said: “The prices of flowers soured in Europe because of energy bills to heat greenhouses, which given energy prices across the world have boomed.
“One particularly good thing about our flowers therefore is that you can leave a decorative arrangement as a memorial for example for two years and it’ll still look the same.
“It’s a fantastic way to save money and make use of materials that could be going anywhere when you throw them in your recycling bin.
“You often hear rumours about recycling just being shipped abroad and dumped. It’s hard to tell if there is any truth to it, but there’s no smoke without fire.
“I feel very proud that we’re doing out bit for our corner of the world, even if it’s a drop in the bucket for what could be done.
“It’s rewarding to know we’re doing our bit, and the support from community is great. People have really warmed to recycling business concept.
“There will never be a shortage of people wanting flowers, and everyone who sees them in person says that the pictures never do them justice.”