A campaign to stop using single use plastic items has been adopted by South Ayrshire Council, with plastic straws the first item to go. The Council has pledged to review all purchases by 2022 to ensure sustainable items are bought in future.
The BBC's Blue Planet programme shone a light on the weight of contamination plastic poses to the world's oceans, suffocating wildlife and polluting beaches. Every year tonnes of waste is washed up on South Ayrshire's Coastline that could be easily avoided.
The Council is now signing up to the Final Straw campaign and has pledged to end the use of single use plastic items, starting with plastic straws which will no longer be bought with immediate effect. The Council currently buys around 35,000 a year.
In the next four years further work will take place to remove the use of items including: plastic bottles, coffee cups and lids, plastic cutlery, plastic bags, bathroom plastics including cotton buds, condiment sachets, and balloons.
The message will form the core of the work around Earth Hour 2018 on Saturday, 24 March, with partners across South Ayrshire being encouraged to consider adopting the same approach.
Councillor Ian Cochrane, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Environment said this positive move sent out a strong message, "We're committed to protecting our environment and this pledge to eliminate single use plastic items is a great way to reduce unnecessary waste, much of which ends up dumped in landfills.
"We're starting the process by moving to paper straws and in the next four years we'll be looking to source items which cut down waste and ultimately encouraging a culture shift in people's use of everyday items.
"Through this year's Earth Hour we'll also be promoting our approach and asking partners com to consider whether they too could do more for the environment and sign-up to the Final Straw campaign and say no to single use plastics."
For the full South Ayrshire Council report on plastics, visit here.
For more information on the Final Straw campaign, visit here.