Plastic Free North Devon
We’re proud to be part of a network of 16 organisations across North Devon working to reduce the impact of plastic pollution on the environment in North Devon and beyond. Working with councils, community groups, businesses and schools we aim to:
Raise awareness of the issue
Reduce the amount of plastic consumed
Clear waste plastic from the environment
Ensure that it is disposed of appropriately
On 29 August 2018, North Devon’s actions to combat plastic pollution were broadcast nationally on the BBC Counryfile Diaries. John Craven introduced the feature explaining that there are 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic all over the UK and the battle is on to clean up our beaches.
Filming in Croyde, the Countryfile presenters followed a number of people and organisations who are taking positive steps to fight the influx of plastic, particularly during peak summer months. Perhaps one of the most shocking moments is when Claire Moody and James Szymankiewicz from Plastic Free North Devon are collecting debris from a hard-to-reach cove. Whilst cleaning, they discover a dead seagull and, upon further inspection, find small pieces of plastic inside its body.
‘Finding plastic in the seagull was a really sad moment - this isn’t an albatross chick on a distant island but here in Devon – the place I call home. It localises the problem and makes me feel even more committed to solve it- I hope it has the same effect on viewers.’
James Szymankiewicz Chair Plastic Free North Devon
The scale and urgency of the plastic problem was bought into sharp focus and the need for action clearly apparent. The programme highlighted a number of positive steps people and organisations in North Devon are taking to combat the issue: 2 minute beach cleans are being actively promoted to tourists; Ranger Rose from Parkdean is shown taking children on coastal safaris explaining ‘if these kids learn to love wildlife they’ll want to protect it in the future’; local businesses such as The Thatch Pub in Croyde highlight how they have swapped plastic-wrapped condiments and bottles for glass; and large sifters called Nurdles are separating sand from micro plastics and other debris.
‘Our message is positive and empowers our visiting tourists to be part of the solution.I think the program showcases North Devon whilst at the same time demonstrating to visitors how responsible behaviour can help maintain and improve our beautiful environment.’
Claire Moodie, Plastic Free North Devon
For information on what you can do to help reduce plastic pollution, follow Plastic Free North Devon on social media and subscribe to the newsletter www.plasticfreenorthdevon.org