Tynemouth in the North East, Aberporth in Wales and Perranporth in Cornwall are the latest communities to be awarded plastic-free status by marine conservation charity

Tynemouth has become the first place in the North East to be awarded plastic-free status while the former fishing village of Aberporth has become the first place in Wales to go plastic-free.

The plastic-free status is awarded by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

Perranporth in Cornwall followed suit to become the fifth community and was awarded plastic-free status by SAS today.

Tynemouth has been awarded plastic free status

Tynemouth is the first place in the North East to gain plastic-free status

The three areas join Penzance and Alderney as Plastic Free Communities, in a scheme spearheaded by SAS to rid our coastlines of harmful materials, plastic and rubbish.

The nationwide initiative has been set up by SAS to encourage towns to clean up their coastlines, cut waste and swap single-use plastic items for biodegradable alternatives.

Tynemouth, Aberporth and Perranporth persuaded many of its traders and businesses to swap single-use plastic items and packaging for reusable or biodegradable alternatives and held regular beach cleans with community groups and schools.

The village of Aberporth waged war against plastic with the 1,100 residents swapping to reusable packaging and opting for items including glass milk bottles.

To be awarded with the status, areas must meet SAS’s five Plastic Free Coastline objectives and bring together businesses, the community and local governance to work together and reduce the reliance on single-use plastics.

SAS aims to have 125 anti-plastic communities across the UK by 2020. Currently there are over 165 communities working towards the status by making simple changes that will have significant positive impact.

It is hoped the changes seen in Tynemouth and Aberporth will encourage neighbouring towns and coastal areas across the UK to push for plastic-free status.

One kayaker picked up 365 bottles. Credit: Alex Goodchild

One kayaker ins Suffolk picked up 365 bottles. Credit: Alex Goodchild

The plastic-free support is certainly growing. One young campaigner, Alex Goodchild, picked 365 plastic bottles out of Suffolk’s rivers over the past year, kayaking over 90 miles and raising money for Surfers Against Sewage.