Scilly aiming for Plastic Free status
The Isles of Scilly is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Penzance and achieve "plastic-free" status.
Penzance become the first community in the UK to be awarded the status as part of Plastic Free Coastlines, a national project by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). The campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the growing plastic pollution crisis and encouraging local people and businesses to stop using throwaway plastic.
Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Communications Officer Nikki Banfield has now been accepted as a Community Leader with the SAS Plastic Free Coastlines campaign.
She wrote on the Trust's website: “Here in Scilly we know only too well about the amount of man-made debris in our seas; every walk along the beach, every stroll around the coastline, every big storm shows us something new and sees us having to deal with more.
“The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust has been advocating and organising beach cleans and encouraging people to reduce their use of single-use plastic and recycle for some time now; but sometimes living on an island can complicate matters and make it slightly harder.
“Lots of individuals and businesses are also doing their bit and it's something that we, as a community, really should be proud of and shouting about, whilst recognising that we can still do more. We hope that Plastic Free Coastlines will be the start of this.”
To attain Plastic Free Coastlines approved status, the islands must complete five objectives set out by SAS, including gaining the support of the Council and local businesses and setting up a steering group to discuss progress and future plans.
Nikki said that the Wildlife Trust, with the support of Isles of Scilly AONB funding, has already provided enough evidence in 2017 to tick off objectives relating to community engagement and on-the-ground action "but it doesn't stop there and we can and will do more!"
Tresco Estate affirmed its support for Plastic Free Scilly, saying it is "working hard with the Wildlife Trust and others to reduce our impact on the environment".
Nikki urged islanders to get in touch and let the Willife Trust know what they are doing, "however big or small".
She added: "We'll add your efforts to the evidence list which will be submitted to SAS when we apply for official Plastic Free Coastline status for the islands. If you want to know more, want to share or receive ideas about how you as an individual or how your business can reduce its plastic 'boot-print', making our oceans safer for our wildlife and future generations, let us know and we'll pop out and see you."