Push against plastic shows no sign of relenting

The fight against single-use plastic shows no sign of abating '“ and we hope that that continues to be the case for the foreseeable future.

Possibly sparked by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet last year, partly due to changing mindsets and the success of the 5p charge for carrier bags, the desire to reduce plastics where possible has spread through society. Children are some of the most keen advocates, and this has helped to keep the momentum going, as we realise that we cannot continue to use resources and also pollute the planet at the rate we currently do.

The News launched a campaign earlier this year and has since teamed up with the Final Straw Solent – itself a group which started in Emsworth and has since widened its ambitions. We aimed to encourage as many businesses and events as possible to look at how they could reduce their plastic footprint and were gratified to find that it was pushing at an open door – there is a huge willingness out there to become less plastic-reliant.

And so it’s a pleasure to report today that the kitesurfing festival on Hayling Island next weekend has pledged to go plastic-free, and that the festival organisers will not use single-use plastic anywhere. It all adds to the perception – and truth – that we can do this. Add that to last week’s welcome news that McDonald’s is joining the global push by eradicating plastic straws, and it keeps the issue in the spotlight.

Attitudes in society can change. Smoking is a case in point. The 5p carrier bag charge was accepted with barely a whimper of protest. Drink-driving is no longer tolerated. Seat belts are worn as a matter of routine.

And similarly, we hope to be in a world where plastic in some situations is frowned upon. We will keep talking about it, and will keep publicising the incessant efforts of the Final Straw Solent to make progress and encourage big organisations, small businesses and most importantly, individuals to buy into the aims.

This is one of the most inspiring grassroots campaigns of recent years –let’s all make sure it achieves the most it can.