Campaign to make Tynemouth coastline plastic-free

More than 160 volunteers helped collect 120kg of rubbish during SASs recent Big Autumn Beach Clean. Picture by Tom Bing.
More than 160 volunteers helped collect 120kg of rubbish during SASs recent Big Autumn Beach Clean. Picture by Tom Bing.

A campaign is aiming to put Tynemouth at the forefront of the battle to clean up Britain’s coastline.

Environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is aiming to persuade local businesses to cut their use of plastics which pollute the sea and beaches, harm marine life, and eventually enter the food chain.

More than 160 volunteers helped collect 120kg of rubbish during SASs recent Big Autumn Beach Clean. Picture by Tom Bing.

More than 160 volunteers helped collect 120kg of rubbish during SASs recent Big Autumn Beach Clean. Picture by Tom Bing.

They are hoping the Plastic Free Coastline campaign will win the backing of North Tyneside Council with several businesses pledging support.

And the aim is to meet the key targets needed to gain Plastic Free Coastline status for Tynemouth.

In Tynemouth, SAS has already organised 25 community beach cleans, extending the initiative to North Shields Fish Quay.

The group is working with Newcastle University, TyneMet College, local scout and cub groups and charities to highlight the hazards posed by plastics.

If Tynemouth achieves Plastic Free Coastline status the village will be awarded a certificate, stamp of approval from SAS and will be entitled to use a special logo on location signs.

Businesses are being asked to ditch at least three single-use plastics, such as packaging, bottles, straws, cups, stirrers and sachets.

Surfer Sally McGee, a local SAS representative, said: “We are delighted we have already received interest and pledges of support.

“It would be fantastic to see Tynemouth at the forefront of the campaign but to achieve that we need backing from the council and local businesses.”

“The pollution caused by plastics is one of the biggest environmental threats we face.

“A plastic bottle will last 400 years and once broken down into micro-plastic pieces will enter the food chain. Plastic damages the marine environment and has a detrimental impact on the animals that live in it and the food we eat.’’

Local businesses who wish to participate should contact SAS representatives at tynemouthsasplasticfree@gmail.com