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'Let's make Whitby plastic free' - Council backs calls to halt waste

'Wood' you switch...? Campaign to reduce plastic waste. Michelle Purvis  and Carol Clarkson  are staff at the takeaway at The Magpie Cafe in Whitby where customers can opt for wooden forks and are given paper bags, rather than plastic. Picture by Sam Jones.
'Wood' you switch...? Campaign to reduce plastic waste. Michelle Purvis and Carol Clarkson are staff at the takeaway at The Magpie Cafe in Whitby where customers can opt for wooden forks and are given paper bags, rather than plastic. Picture by Sam Jones.

Whitby Town Council is backing calls by the Gazette to reduce the amount of killer single-use plastic waste.

Businesses have been getting on board – the Magpie Cafe is offering customers wooden forks, as well as serving takeaways in paper bags and cafe Cranberry Swamp is using paper straws and eco-friendly cartons for takeouts.

A motion was discussed at full council this week about how the authority can take a leading role in halting the plastics that are harming sealife and polluting the sea.

Town mayor Cllr Noreen Wilson, who proposed the motion, said it is important the council leads the way on the issue.

She said: “I think anything that we can do as a council and as individuals has got to be a good thing.”

Referring to the campaign to reduce plastic waste and help clear up the town, Cllr Phil Trumper added: “I think we should be supporting the Gazette in their campaign with dog mess and litter and cleaning up the town.”

Cllr Amanda Smith who chairs the Whitby in Bloom group urged the council to get involved with projects the group has run in the past, such as taking single-use plastic bottles and turning them into litter bins.

Cllr Wilson added that she believes it’s important that people take measures to reduce their use of plastic, citing an example where she was offered a plastic carrier bag for some soured cream, “why when it’s already sealed?” she added.

The council voted to go ahead with the scheme and it will now go before the Town Development and Improvement Committee before they look to extend the advice to traders around town.

The issue has been thrust into the public eye following the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 programme. Bags and other items are choking or wrapping around marine animals.

Speaking about the dangers plastic and litter poses, chief correspondent for Channel 4 News, Alex Thomson said: “It is lethal. Litter kills.”

Is your business helping to reduce plastic waste?

Let us know how, email editorial@whitbygazette.co.uk.