Plastic Clever Salcombe

Kids Against Plastic

A mother and daughter team are on a mission to help Salcombe estuary become more plastic clever as part of our Kids Against Plastic initiative.

Anna Turns and six-year-old Ella are helping residents, holidaymakers, schools and business owners in this coastal area of Devon to think more responsibly about single-use plastic in order to reduce marine litter along this beautiful stretch of coastline and protect marine wildlife such as dolphins, whales, basking sharks, fish and even seahorses.

They are presenting plastic clever awards to businesses and organisations who are finding non-plastic alternatives to disposables such as drinks bottles, carrier bags, takeaway cutlery, coffee cup lids, straws and balloons.

“We believe Salcombe has the potential to become the UK’s first plastic clever town if we all act now. Globally eight million tonnes of plastic litter enters the oceans every year, and the solutions are so simple!” says Anna. “We find endless straws, plastic bottles, balloons and microplastics (tiny fragments of plastic items) on the beaches in and around the estuary all year round – they never biodegrade.” She explains that in Salcombe, plastic litter is a problem up the creeks and it is often the tiny microplastics and nurdles (lentil-sized raw plastic pellets) that are found in huge abundance on local beaches. But Anna explains that “as consumers we all have the power to say no and prevent plastics reaching our estuary, harming marine wildlife and entering our food chain by choosing reusable options like stainless steel drinks bottles.”

Anna and Ella are also determined to put a stop to the throwing of water balloons within the harbour during the summer regatta events, and they are working closely with the organisers of Salcombe Regatta and also Salcombe CrabFest to improve the plastic footprint of these big events.

So far, the duo have signed up a dozen businesses to the Kids Against Plastic scheme and awarded each of them with a certificate and plastic clever window sticker. The Fortescue Inn, Salcombe Coffee Co, Salcombe Harbour Hotel, South Sands Hotel and The Venus Company at East Portlemouth are amongst the first to commit to using plastic more responsibly.

Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Local Nature Reserve, plus it has been recognised as an eco-port by the European Sea Ports Organisation. “As a busy fishing harbour that relies heavily on tourism, we can all be part of the solution and help make Salcombe more plastic clever.”

Ella being interviewed on BBC Spotlight

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