Make a firm commitment to go plastic-free

Could you go plastic free even for a day?
Could you go plastic free even for a day?

Eco-champions have set out a strategy to try to tackle the problem of coastal litter, including working with business to help them go plastic free.

The action plan was formulated at a meeting last month in Bamburgh, which involved representatives from the Northumberland Coast AONB, the Coast Care team and volunteers who had helped with beach cleans and surveys.

Get Drastic With Plastic, a Northumberland Gazette environmental campaign.

Get Drastic With Plastic, a Northumberland Gazette environmental campaign.

A number of proposals were suggested during the event, with some requiring partnership work with businesses and organisations.

Perhaps one of the most ambitious ideas was to start to team up with businesses to get them to think about going plastic free.

This would involve helping businesses make that step and, on the back of that, publicise their efforts, which in turn could lead to others following suit.

Another idea was for holiday lets to provide re-usable coffee cups, encouraging guests to take them on days out and re-fill them.

The next was for businesses to encourage a ‘re-fill your water bottle’ campaign, in a bid to cut down on the amount of plastic water bottles which are used and dumped.

Along the same sort of lines, it was also suggested to work with hotels and holiday lets to create a ‘take your litter home’ message, as well as providing information about how to recycle items.

Another proposal was to team up with Northumbrian Water to promote the company’s three Ps message – which reminds people that only toilet paper, pee and poo should be flushed down the loo.

The aim of this would be to stop other items being put down toilets and finding its way into the environment.

Fishing debris is also a big problem on beaches around Northumberland and one of the ideas was to work with NIFCA (Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) to try to tackle the issue.

Another blight on our beautiful coastline is dropped cigarette butts. In a bid to try to stub out this issue, it was suggested that Northumberland County Council could come on board through its public protection department.

It was also proposed to feed into the Keep Britain Tidy initiative, to get people to think about litter and the harm it can do.

Reflecting on the proposals, Iain Robson, from the Northumberland Coast AONB, said that there had been a lot of interest from people in coming up with a strategy.

He added: “Some of the ideas would be easy to achieve, but some would be more difficult.”