Reversing the trend on single-use plastics on the beach

The BCP Council is determined to reduce single-use plastic on its beaches.

The authority commissioned a report from the City to Sea nonprofit seeking to develop a more sustainable approach to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole seafront.

With responsibility for 15 miles of beaches, the resorts are home to around 400,000 residents and welcome 13 million visitors each year. Holder of more blue flags than any other UK local authority, the BCP Council currently spends £ 1million a year removing litter from its beaches. On average in the UK, 425 littered plastic items are found on 100m of beach.

City to Sea works with organizations to run behavior change campaigns highlighting how small actions can make a big difference. They estimate that if just one in 10 residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole filled a water bottle just once a week, more than a million plastic bottles would be saved per year.

The report’s proposals focus on the new £ 2.4million Durley Environmental Innovation Hub, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund.

Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Tourism and Active Health Portfolio Holder, said, “Coastal councils like us are constantly working to remove litter and take care of our beaches. The single-use, disposable model means it is increasingly difficult for people to make environmentally friendly choices.

“By working with experts in their field, we aim to develop our understanding of solutions. We need to design reuse in our beach operations using practical solutions that can be delivered both operationally and commercially.

“This City to Sea report will expand our understanding and bring the Durley Innovation Hub to life as an educational space for residents and visitors. Preventing single-use plastic rather than picking it up on our beaches is a strategy supported by our Cleaner, Greener, Safer initiative.

Jane Martin, City to Sea Development Manager, said: “This exciting project is an industry first which we hope will cause a sensation on the South Coast. He sets out an ambitious three-year plan for the BCP Council, because we know there are no quick fixes and it is crucial to take the time to understand the problems, try innovative solutions and share our learning. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be transformed by this project and give us real-time feedback on our behavior and what is working to tackle plastic pollution. Residents here will lead the country in experimenting with new innovative products and systems to incentivize reuse and refill to prevent plastic pollution.

Work on the Durley Environmental Innovation Hub is expected to be completed in the spring of next year.

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