Five year strategy to rid northern Devon of single-use plastics

Plastic bottle by estuary

Posted on: 15 January 2019

A five-year strategy and action plan to rid northern Devon of single-use plastics has been agreed by members of the Plastic Free North Devon Consortium.

The consortium, which was set up in April last year to combat the global problem of plastic pollution through local action, consists of representatives from a number of charities, voluntary groups and organisations including:

  • Barnstaple Town Council
  • Barnstaple and District Chamber of Commerce
  • Beaford
  • Devon County Council
  • Ilfracombe Town Council
  • Keep Britain Tidy
  • National Trust
  • North Devon Coast AONB
  • North Devon Council
  • North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve
  • Plastic Free North Devon
  • PETROC College of Further and Higher Education
  • South Molton Town Council
  • Torridge District Council
  • 2 Minute Beach Clean
  • Westward Ho! Business Association

All members have now agreed the strategy for the consortium, which will work across four key areas – communities, tourism, farming and fishing, and other businesses – with the aim of making the biggest and most immediate impacts on the plastic problem in our area.

The consortium’s strategy includes an action plan, which has a number of aims:

  • increase education about the impact of plastic waste
  • reduce plastic consumption
  • remove plastic that has entered the natural environment
  • recycle or dispose of used plastic appropriately
  • deliver projects to ensure their message is reaching the people and businesses of northern Devon

The action plan focuses not only on the shoreline, but also on the problem of plastics in the rural inland areas.

Executive Member for the Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Rodney Cann says: “We as a consortium have a lot of work to do over the next five years and beyond, but I’m delighted that we have been able to agree such an ambitious and rounded strategy that will help us to make a huge impact on the circulation of single-use plastics in northern Devon. Plastic pollution is a global problem and it is so important that we all do our bit to reverse the damage that has been done to our environment and protect our district – and our planet – for future generations.”

Lead Member for the Environment at Torridge Council, Councillor Ken James says: “We all have our part to play in reducing the harmful effects of plastic pollution and I am pleased that the group has come together to get behind this important initiative. While we need to deal with plastic waste in a more robust way the key thrust must be to reduce the prevalence of disposable plastics in the first place. I look forward to working with our partners to achieving these goals.”

Plastic Free North Devon coordinator, Claire Moodie says: “The consortium is one of the most exciting things to come out the ‘Plastic Free North Devon’ movement. Having a joined up vision and strategy supported by credible and competent organisations is crucial to engaging with every aspect of our community. Our vision goes beyond reducing single-use plastic; this is about driving and supporting systematic change throughout our communities which protects and enhances the natural environment we rely on.”

For more information on how you can reduce your consumption of single-use plastics and to find out about local events, follow Plastic Free North Devon’s Facebook page.

3 comments on “Five year strategy to rid northern Devon of single-use plastics

  1. Connie says:

    One of the biggest offenders that I see are the kebab shops. Plastic food tray and a plastic fork added to your bag every time without even asking if you need one.

  2. Steve Tucker says:

    I don’t think that we will ever be completely free of plastic, but can someone please tell the likes of Mr Kipling that black plastic cannot be recycled, as, according to our recycling guys, they cannot get the black dye out of it.
    Mr Kipling, and others I suspect, reckon that their wares look better in black plastic trays. Really!

    • amycarr says:

      Hello Steve. Your recycling crew are right – black plastic is not currently recyclable. This is due to the pigment not being picked up by the sorting machinery and is a national issue that is being investigated. Work is being carried out nationally to both improve the recyclability of these plastics and to encourage retailers and food producers like Mr Kipling to switch to a non-black pigmented plastic tray. For info, you can find out more about this and the progress here: http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/recyclability-black-plastic-packaging-0

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