Support for a plastic-free North Devon pledged by council

Saunton

Posted on: 5 December 2017

Marine conservation group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) came one step closer to realising their aim of making North Devon plastic-free, as North Devon Council lent its support to their campaign.

At a meeting of the council’s Executive yesterday (Monday 4 December) councillors agreed to give their backing to the group, which launched its ‘Plastic Free Coastlines’ campaign this year, supported by environmental organisations such as The National Trust, North Devon AONB and Biosphere Reserve and The Pickwell Foundation.

The campaign encourages councils, local businesses, community groups and individuals to do what they can to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they use in favour of sustainable alternatives, with the eventual aim of removing single-use plastic from circulation completely. The initiative also supports communities to educate children about the perils of plastic litter, and to hold beach cleans, fundraisers and other awareness-raising events.

Executive Member for the Environment, Councillor Rodney Cann says: “I am absolutely delighted to offer our support to SAS’s important campaign to reduce the amount of plastic from our coastline and communities. We are extremely fortunate to live in such a beautiful area, and its time we all took responsibility for doing our bit to protect and enhance North Devon’s very special environment.”

Surfers Against Sewage’s South West Regional representative, Claire Moodie says: ”North Devon Council’s decision to support the ‘Plastic Free Coastlines’ campaign in North Devon is a positive, exciting and crucial step in helping to reduce the flow of unnecessary single-use plastics into our environment. Supporting us by exploring ways to remove single-use plastics from their premises will ensure they are leading by example and will prove vital when encouraging local businesses to do the same. The campaign itself facilitates collective community action between individuals, businesses, schools and community groups, which will prove vital in creating a cultural shift concerning our relationship with single-use plastics and the eradication of them.”

In offering their backing to the campaign, North Devon Council is pledging to offer practical support to encourage communities’ involvement in making North Devon a litter and plastic-free area. The council will loan picking equipment and bags to litter pick events; collect rubbish gathered during litter pick events by prior arrangement; reduce their own use of single-use plastic, and encourage others to do the same.

More information on how you can support the ‘Plastic Free Coastline’ campaign and tips on how to reduce your use of single-use plastics is available on Surfers Against Sewage‘s website. If you plan to organise your own litter pick event and would like to borrow the council’s equipment please email brett.waldron@northdevon.gov.uk.

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