Plastic Free North Devon consortium formed

Posted on: 10 April 2018

North Devon is one step closer to becoming a plastic free district, thanks to the formation of a new consortium.

On Wednesday 4 April representatives from a number of charities, voluntary groups and organisations met at a workshop hosted by North Devon Council to discuss how they could each contribute towards making North Devon plastic free. They decided that, by working in collaboration, they could provide residents, businesses and visitors with a clear understanding of how to make a practical difference to their coastlines and communities.

The new consortium will work in partnership with Plastic Free North Devon (PFND), a grassroots community movement that uses the framework developed by environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) in their Plastic Free Coastlines campaign. The local community organisation is supported by SAS and The Pickwell Foundation, and recently received additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Fullabrook Community Interest Company. It aims to inspire North Devon residents, tourists and businesses to reduce their ‘plastic footprint’ and drastically reduce the consumption of single-use plastic throughout the whole of North Devon, not just the coastal areas.

The consortium will be made up of a number of groups and organisations, including:

  • Plastic Free North Devon
  • North Devon Council
  • North Devon Biosphere
  • North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • The National Trust
  • Beaford Arts
  • Barnstaple & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Martin Dorey, founder of the 2 Minute Beach Clean
  • Petroc
  • BeachCare, Keep Britain Tidy
  • Ilfracombe Town Council
  • Beth Newsome from Seadog, representing small food and drink businesses.

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Councillor Rodney Cann says: “I am delighted that we are taking such positive steps towards making our beautiful district plastic free. By working in collaboration with Plastic Free North Devon, and other groups who share our concern about plastic pollution, we will be able to deliver a clear message to the public and businesses on how they can make some positive changes of their own. Plastic pollution is everyone’s problem; we all need to take responsibility for the plastic we use, and how we dispose of it, in order to tackle this global environmental crisis.”

Surfers Against Sewage’s south-west regional representative and PFND coordinator, Claire Moodie says: “The formation of this consortium is an amazing opportunity for the plastic free movement to really gain momentum and take action fast and effectively across the region. The sharing of resources and expertise between the stakeholders involved will help spread the message to every part of North Devon and ensure we move forward together to protect our precious environment. Everyone has the opportunity and responsibility to make a difference – however big or small, every action counts. This campaign is about empowering every community to come together, make their voices heard and start a wave of change.”

Writer and founder of 2 Minute Beach Clean, Martin Dorey says: “I firmly believe that the only way we’ll solve our plastic crisis is through community, collaboration, people and passion, and this initiative does all this brilliantly. It unites a lot of caring, committed people to work in the best interests of us all.”
The new consortium will be meeting in early May to develop the Plastic Free North Devon action plan.

More information on how you can reduce your consumption of single-use plastics is available on Surfers Against Sewage’s website. To keep up-to-date with Plastic Free North Devon’s news follow their Facebook page.

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