Keeping coast plastic-free

Enjoying a summer's day at Tynemouth Longsands beach.
Enjoying a summer's day at Tynemouth Longsands beach.

North Tyneside is well known for its beautiful coastline.

We have award-winning beaches – three Blue Flag awards for Tynemouth Longsands, King Edward’s Bay and Whitley Bay South, and a Seaside Award for Cullercoats Bay – and recently received ‘excellent’ water quality status for four of our beaches.

That’s why I have been really pleased to see businesses in North Tyneside getting involved in the Plastic Free Coastline campaign to keep our beaches clean and tidy.

Businesses along the coast are working hard to reduce their use of one-use plastics, such as cups, containers and food packaging, and are encouraging their customers to bring reusable cups and bottles to fill up.

Sophie Anson, Member of UK Youth Parliament for North Tyneside, is leading a project and group of young volunteers to tackle the issue in North Shields and Wallsend.

The team is now working on developing a pilot project to allow members of the public to get their water bottles re-filled at local businesses, shopping centres, leisure centres and at St Mary’s Lighthouse to reduce the number of one-use plastic bottles in North Tyneside.

The council’s environment sub-committee is also looking into what more we can do to help businesses and residents in the borough reduce their use of plastic.

This is great news for all of us.

We want to make sure our Blue Flag beaches remain some of the best and cleanest in the country – and it’s fantastic to see everyone doing their bit to keep our coastline plastic-free.