Shaftesbury’s Sunday Market Boss Gets Tough On Plastics

Shaftesbury’s monthly Sunday markets will be greener from March. Steve Dauwalder, owner of The Anonymous Travelling Market, has informed his stallholders of his new plastics policy. From next year, his traders will need to meet recycling requirements when they sell refreshments.

“We gave them until the end of December to try and go over to compostable packaging. We are a little bit behind on that but by the end of March, everybody selling hot drinks on our markets will be using compostable cups,” said Steve.

Steve says he understands that sustainability matters to many Shaftesbury shoppers. “We are working with a supplier to print 20,000 compostable carrier bags. We’ve managed to get them at a rate that is comparable to plastic bags. They will be in place by the spring,” Steve added.

Steve Dauwalder

Mr Dauwalder says this sustainability initiative has been well received. “Most of the traders are taking it on board because they realise that the public want to reduce plastic use or they want to use base products that have been used before and can be used again and again.”

Steve said that he has been moved by some of the recent TV footage featuring plastic waste killing wildlife in the oceans. “I think we’re all touched by what has been happening. Maybe this is a country that recognises this more and I think the public are demanding something. They realise that the oceans are a mess and there’s more litter around.”

Steve was speaking ahead of this Sunday’s Shaftesbury Christmas Market. It will be one of the biggest in the region, offering around 100 stalls. Steve has arranged the event for Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce and he is promising an interesting variety of unique crafts, gifts, produce and entertainment.

“This is one of the largest regional one-day markets around the area,” said Steve. “I don’t know of any others in Wessex that are this big. We really need the public to see what Shaftesbury has to offer and this is going to enhance that.”

Steve says there’ll be a wide choice of food, including hot chestnuts. “From cured meats to organic vegetables. The Dorset Farmers’ Market is providing eighteen of the stalls and they’re bringing a lot of stuff. Their seafood, regionally-produced sausages, handmade Christmas wreaths – it is really something worth coming along to look at,” said Steve.

One craftsman from Berwick St John will be selling homeware repurposed from waste metal. “He has recycled copper lamps,” said Steve. “They’re made out of recycled, old hot water tanks. We had an event in another town nearby and he was probably one of the most popular traders. The stuff he produces is really interesting and very quirky. It’s an ideal gift.”

2018 has been challenging for High Street retailers and Steve said that market traders have faced tough times too. But he believes that the monthly Shaftesbury markets have turned the corner. “It’s on the up. Markets throughout the region have all been a little quieter over the last year. But this is the way forward. It’s an alternative to the internet.”

Earlier this year, Steve offered local craftspeople and artisans a chance to ‘dip their toe in the water’ of market trading by selling their wares using small and manageable suitcase-sized stalls. Steve is pleased by the take-up. “We have a few new suitcase traders signed up. Some of them only offer one product but it’s handmade and there’s an artisan angle.”

Live music and entertainment has become an important part of the monthly Shaftesbury Sunday Market mix. Steve has booked a zither player for this pre-Christmas market. “He comes up from Dorchester and he busks. He’ll play some other traditional instruments, too.”

The Sunday market on 16th December will be held from 10am to 4pm. Steve says he’d be delighted to talk to any musicians who would like to perform at future markets. Potential suitcase stallholders may also contact him through his website