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
Devon County Council
Ilfracombe Town Council
Keep Britain Tidy
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 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.