Becoming plastic free city is ‘easily achievable’ now

Clare Seek & Adam Sennitt, front middle, with the rest of the team working on the Plastic Free Portsmouth project''Picture: David George
Clare Seek & Adam Sennitt, front middle, with the rest of the team working on the Plastic Free Portsmouth project''Picture: David George
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ANTI-PLASTIC campaigners from across the region are set to unite under one umbrella to eradicate single-use plastics once and for all in Portsmouth.

Last night saw the first meeting of the Plastic Free Portsmouth campaign, which is looking to unite and coordinate anti-plastic work across the city.

The group, run under the Surfers Against Sewage scheme, is aiming to push Portsmouth City Council, campaign groups and businesses to all work together.

Representatives from Final Straw Solent, Portsmouth City Council, Zero Waste Portsmouth and more gathered to discuss the best direction to take the project.

Clare Seek, who chaired the meeting, said: ‘In a BBC children’s story competition one of the most used words was ‘plastic’ – so this is an issue that all generations are aware of.

‘The end goal is to become a truly zero-plastic waste city – there has been such a big change in the way people think, even just in the past six months.

‘This is a journey that everybody is taking, but we need to make sure that we are taking it together.’

Currently, the group is aiming to introduce anti-plastic measures in half of all Portsmouth community spaces and 30 per cent of all schools by this time next year.

Bianca Carr, co-founder of Final Straw Solent, has also given her backing to the scheme – saying that these goals are easily achievable.

She said: ‘We have already had a couple of big places in Portsmouth get on board with our campaign.

‘The Spinnaker Tower and Port Solent are just a couple of the big names on that list – so this is something that can be done and does attract attention.

‘It’s great to get everyone who is fighting against single-use plastics together to discuss how best to go about fighting it – and by working together we stand a very good chance of wiping out these plastics across the city.

‘It’s the places such as chiropractors and hair salons, businesses that might not realise what plastic waste they can cut down on, that can end up having the biggest impact.

‘But people are now listening and getting on board with this, so we should be able to keep up this momentum.’

Councillor Dave Ashmore, cabinet member for environment and community safety, is confident that the group will be successful.

He said: ‘Doing something like this is easily achievable, especially given the resources and manpower we have as a group.

‘I’m confident that we can make this city the first to be plastic free.’