5 simple ways YOU can help Weston-super-Mare achieve Plastic-Free Coastline status
PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:56 27 November 2017
The world's oceans are threatened by plastic pollution, and faced with such a problem, it is easy to feel powerless. Yet everyone can do something to make a positive impact and clean up our coastlines.
We are confronted with plastic every time we go to the shops, and sometimes it is impossible to avoid. But we can all make simple changes to our behaviour to begin to make a difference, and collectively we can all work together to force companies to alter their packaging too.
Our Cleaner Coastlines campaign has been launched alongside the Weston Chamber of Commerce and North Somerset Council to reduce the amount of plastic waste ending up in our seas.
We want Weston to receive Plastic-Free Coastline status from Surfers Against Sewage, a grassroots movement dedicated to preventing our beaches ending up as a plastic wasteland.
A Surfers Against Sewage spokesman said: “Change needs to start at the individual level within our communities and so everyone can get involved with this project and help to make a difference, even if this is through something so simple as refusing to have a plastic straw in their drink when out and about.
“Our community leaders in Weston are undertaking some really fantastic and important work. They are so determined to make the surrounding environment of Weston a better and healthier place for all who use it and so we would really encourage everyone to get on board with the project and support them.”
Here are some ways you can help...
1) Say no to disposable straws and cutlery.
If you do a beach clean in Weston, you will be astonished about how many of these have made their way to the sand. Both harm marine life, and are usually unnecessary. Say ‘no’ to a plastic straw when you are offered one in a bar – and if you get the chance, explain why. You never know, they may get rid of them altogether.
2) Take your own shopping bag.
This will save you money in the long-run, now it costs 5p a bag. The use of plastic bags has dropped by 85 per cent since the tax came in.
3) Carry a reusable water bottle.
Most plastic bottles are not recycled and so are ending up on landfill and in the sea. Some businesses will offer to fill your bottle for free, meaning a one-off investment will save you money. In North Somerset, 44 million plastic bottles are collected at the kerb. But it is estimated 41 per cent of bottles nationally are not recycled, so many millions of the district’s bottles could be ending up in landfill, our rivers, countryside and in the sea.
4) Take your own cup.
Some coffee houses offer discounts to people who take their own refillable cup – so you are helping the environment and your bank account.
5) Skip plastic produce bags.
You could make your own netting bags to the supermarket, or simply carry items without a bag at all.
To get involved in our group trying to achieve Plastic-Free Coastline status, simply search for Cleaner Coastlines: Weston and North Somerset Plastic-Free Campaign on Facebook.