Bid to make Sidmouth a plastic free town picks up steam

PUBLISHED: 17:27 01 May 2018

Sidmouth Plastic Warriors.

Sidmouth Plastic Warriors.

Archant

A bid to make Sidmouth a plastic-free coastline town is gathering pace, after it won the backing of the town council.

Denise Bickley, of Sidmouth Plastic Warriors, launched a campaign in January and since then has been relentlessly rallying the support of the community.

At the latest Sidmouth Town Council meeting, Denise spoke about the drive and put forward a bid for the authority to back the Surfers Against Sewage mission – which members approved unanimously.

Denise is now appealing to Sidmouth businesses to get on board and make three changes - from single-use plastic to other alternatives - to support the bid.

She said there was so much that could be done, from getting rid of plastic cups for water dispensers and collecting pens for the school recycling scheme, to not using plastic and repacked products, using compostable cups and no longer having plastic spoons.

The Plastic Warriors army has also been growing, with more 80 volunteers turning out for latest spring beach clean.

In two hours, volunteers managed to fill 25 black bin bags with non-recyclable waste, along with three clear plastic bags of sorted recyclables.

This was then picked up by East Devon District Council’s StreetScene team.

Denise said: “We had time to really get deep in and see what lurked beneath the surface of the stones, drains, rocks and turn over the debris on the shoreline.

“There was lots of polystyrene - mainly from orangey-coloured takeaway boxes.

“We collected broken plastic glasses, pulled out of the drains by the strong-stomached only, bottle lids, squashed cans, fishing debris like nets, rope and wire, as well as many straws, coffee cups and coffee cup lids etc. Thankfully, not too many new ones though - it’s definitely getting better.”

Denise said the group also found lots of cigarette butts and small straws, which it believed were discarded cotton buds.

She reminded people to not use their toilets as a bin.

The next beach clean will take place on May 12 - Sea Fest day, from 10am until 11am on the Ham. All are welcome.

Visit sidmouthplasticwarriors.org/businesses/ for more information.

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