A worldwide problem that we can all help to solve

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Images of turtles and whales entangled in plastic waste far out in the oceans have become embedded in the public consciousness and spurred a new determination to halt the tide of pollution swamping our planet.

The News today launches its campaign to encourage people and businesses to reduce their use of single-use plastics.

It is clear that this is a worldwide problem on which action at local level can have a huge effect.

Everybody has a stake in protecting the planet for future generations and everybody can play a part in reducing plastic waste.

Simple steps like reusing a bag when you go to the shops or using one made from cloth or paper; shaming bars or cafes that offer you a plastic straw; using and refilling a glass bottle for water, and re-using plastic ones as many times as possible before disposing of them safely.

And that is one of the keys. Dropping litter, whether it be a plastic chip carton, bottle or yogurt pot, is thoughtless and damaging to the environment.

We are used to seeing the so-call ‘urban tumbleweed’ of plastic bags and other litter blowing in the streets, or tangled around fences.

And what is left in the streets and blown in the wind can easily find its way into streams or rivers, eventually posing a threat to wildlife or marine animals.

It’s a big issue, but the solutions are small and everyday.

One step, one choice, one decision at a time – for all of us.

We applaud those businesses already backing our campaign by making small swaps that will help. We are sure more will join in.

And the next time you discard some plastic you have hardly used, think of that turtle...