Theatre and visitor centre reduce single-use plastics for Cleaner Coastlines campaign

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 June 2018

Tourism Manager Caroline Darlington and Marketing Officer Ellie Allen-Somers with the new bottles.

Tourism Manager Caroline Darlington and Marketing Officer Ellie Allen-Somers with the new bottles.

Archant

Weston’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is one of the first of its kind to offer free water refills in a bid to cut down plastic pollution.

The Cleaner Coastlines campaign.The Cleaner Coastlines campaign.

The centre, at the Tropicana, is run by Weston Town Council, and staff have taken steps to make it easier for their customers to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.

The Mercury launched its Cleaner Coastlines campaign alongside the Weston Chamber of Commerce and North Somerset Council last October.

The aim is to achieve plastic-free coastline status for the town by reducing the number of single-use items in circulation.

These include plastic water bottles, straws and cutlery which are used for a short amount of time before being thrown away.

New water refill  branded bottles to reduce plastic waste on the beach.New water refill branded bottles to reduce plastic waste on the beach.

Tourism manager Caroline Darlington, who runs the VIC, said: “We have set up a water filling station, and it is probably the first visitor information centre or tourist information centre to do that.

“We are not giving out plastic cups, but allowing people to refill their own containers.

“We are also selling sports bottles branded ‘Weston’ with a donkey on them.

“They are made from recycled plastic, and they are not single-use.”

Tourism Manager Caroline Darlington and Marketing Officer Ellie Allen-Somers with the new bottles.Tourism Manager Caroline Darlington and Marketing Officer Ellie Allen-Somers with the new bottles.

The visitor centre is building on Weston Town Council’s support for the Cleaner Coastlines campaign.

The council was one of the first in the region to agree a motion to reduce single-use plastics, and it has been making changes in its premises.

Caroline said: “Being based at the Tropicana, we see so much plastic on the beach.

“We wanted to do our bit.”

New water refill  branded bottles to reduce plastic waste on the beach.New water refill branded bottles to reduce plastic waste on the beach.

The centre has also stopped selling water in plastic bottles.

The Blakehay Theatre, in Wadham Street, is also run by the town council and offers a place for people to refill their bottles with water.

It has stopped using single-use plastic cups in the auditorium and has replaced them with reusable cups.

It has also ditched plastic straws, and has stopped selling water in plastic bottles.

The campaign is approaching its targets for plastic-free coastline status – but we need your help. If your business, church, community centre or school has removed any single-use plastic or raised awareness of plastic pollution, email sarah.robinson@archant.co.uk

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