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Plastics are off the menu for diners

Riley's Fish Shack
Riley's Fish Shack

Two award-winning restaurants are backing a campaign to clean up the coastline by ditching harmful plastics.

Riley’s Fish Shack and Longsands Fish Kitchen in Tynemouth will be awarded a certificate of merit once the town achieves Plastic Free Coastline status.

Longsands Fish Kitchen, in Front Street, Tynemouth.

Longsands Fish Kitchen, in Front Street, Tynemouth.

However, campaigners say more businesses need to follow suit and replace single-use plastics such as coffee cups, containers, straws, stirrers, sachets and packaging with biodegradable alternatives if Tynemouth is to become one of the first to gain the national accolade.

Single-use plastics pollute the sea, harm marine life and eventually enter the food chain.

The Plastic Free Coastline campaign is spearheaded by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and Riley’s and Longsands have both met key targets.

Adam Riley, who with wife Lucy owns Riley’s Fish Shack overlooking King Edward’s Bay, said: “We are proud to say we have never used plastic packaging.

“All our drinks vessels and straws are Vegware, made of fully biodegradable materials such as vegetable starch as are our cardboard food Bio Boxes and we are working to phase out plastic bottled drinking water. Our cleaning products, until recently, have been single-use spray bottles but we’re delighted to say we now have a refill system using green products from Chemex International.”

Simon Walsh, owner of Longsands Fish Kitchen in Front Street, said they now use biodegradable food cartons, wooden cutlery, compostable takeaway coffee cups and containers and paper straws, while fish is delivered in re-usable crates.

“We are fully behind the campaign and we urge all businesses to do the same,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on sourcing sustainable fish and shellfish and promoting the local fishing industry and we are changing to as many plastic alternatives as possible working with our supplier, R & R of Cramlington.

“We have made huge inroads and will continue to review our products to help preserve our coastline and seas.”

Local SAS representative Sally McGee said: “These restaurants have demonstrated they care about the marine environment in a practical way and we appeal to other businesses to follow suit.”

If Tynemouth receives Plastic Free Coastline status, the town will be awarded a certificate and stamp of approval and can use the SAS campaign logo in correspondence and location signs. To take part, contact tynemouthsasplasticfree@gmail.com