Towns receive plastic-free accreditation

Burnham and Highbridge have been awarded plastic-free community status byt conservation chairty, Sur

Burnham and Highbridge have been awarded plastic-free community status byt conservation chairty, Surfers against Sewerage - Credit: Burnham Town Council

Burnham and Highbridge have been given an award from a marine conservation charity for their efforts to become a plastic-free community.

The towns have been awarded plastic-free community status by, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), for greatly reducing the amount of single-use plastic products used in the town, and extensive beach cleans.

Many businesses, cafés and pubs in the towns have stopped using single-use plastics including straws, cutlery, and cups, and replaced them with more environmentally-friendly, and biodegradable materials.

Burnham’s Princess Theatre café has also signed up to the national refill scheme so people can refill their water bottles, as well as ditching sugar sachets and plastic straws and has become a recycling point for crisps packets as part of national scheme run by Walkers.

Dozens of residents also take part in litter-picking events at Berrow beach run by the Friends of Berrow Beach, and Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset.

Former town council clerk, Tatiana Cant started the campaign last year.

Ms Cant said: “Residents in our community have been very keen to find out how they can help to reduce the use of single-use plastic.”

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“I was very impressed at the concern of dozens of members who expressed their concern at a recent Women’s Institute meeting.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of Tanya and Chloé at Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset.

“The council has worked closely with the group who have provided help and advice as well as running the Business Award Scheme to encourage businesses to improve their practices and organised numerous beach cleans to remove litter from our coastline and raise awareness.”

Weston was awarded the plastic-free status last year following a campaign by the Mercury and chamber of commerce to dramatically decrease the use of plastic,

Rachel Yates, SAS, plastic free communities project officer said: “Burnham and Highbridge have gone above and beyond what they needed to do for certification.

”They have got businesses to get rid of single use plastics and encouraged people to reuse items in the town and it’s important to get that message out into the community.”