PASSIONATE pleas from this family of environmental activists helped persuade councillors to take the first step in creating a ‘plastic-free Portsmouth’.
Clare Seek and her children Kester, six, and Mariella, nine, appealed to Portsmouth City Council to ditch single-use plastics.
The trio were backing a motion by Lib Dem councillors Lee Hunt and Rob Wood urging the authority to cut back on its use of plastic bottles, cups, drinking straws and cutlery.
It comes as The News launched The Last Straw campaign urging city businesses to stop using plastic straws and switch to paper ones instead.
Clare, of Wimbledon Park Road, Southsea, stopped using plastic five years ago. She said: ‘So many people watched David Attenborough’s Blue Planet at the end of 2017 and have been motivated to start making changes in their lives, and sadly it’s impossible to visit Portsmouth’s beaches without finding plastic nowadays.’
Speaking to councillors, Mariella – an eco-warrior at Craneswater Junior School – said: ‘The ocean is turning into a giant plastic bin, which I don’t like.
‘Every time we go to play on the beach we find lots of plastic and I always make sure that I pick some of it up and put it in the bins on the seafront.’
Cllr Lee Hunt led the calls and said the city needed a ‘change of direction’ and to ‘lead by example’.
‘Plastic bags, single-use cups, straws, cutlery and thousands of other single-use items are used but for a moment and take a thousand years to degrade,’ he said.
Cllr Will Purvis backed the calls and added the council needed to show ‘moral and practical leadership’.
He said: ‘People will only use the options that are available out there to them. The council has a powerful opportunity to change those options and nudge people towards better solutions.’
Councillors unanimously backed the appeal, which will see the authority looking to encourage traders to sell re-usable containers as well as phasing out single-use plastics at council-run sites.