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Wearsiders urged to help make beaches a plastic free zone

People are being asked to do their bit to help keep the city's beaches free of plastic bottles and other rigid plastics.

Sunderland City Council signed up to be part of a beach plastic recycling scheme last May with two special collection crates located in Seaburn and Roker.

Now the scheme is to be extended to provide three rigid plastic recycling crates at Roker, located at:

- the beach access ramp near the Roker Park entrance on Marine Walk
- the roundabout next to Bellerby's Amusements on Marine Walk
- the promenade at Harbour Beach - opposite Sue's Café

And two at Seaburn, located on:

- the promenade just north of Little Italy
- the promenade below the Fat Buddha

Councillor Michael Mordey, Portfolio Holder for City Services, said:

"There's been a huge increase in the amount of plastic produced over the last 50 years with a 20 fold increase worldwide. You only have to walk along the seafront to see the impact that's having on our beaches.

"Between eight and 12 tonnes of plastic already ends up in the sea killing millions of marine mammals.  While recent reports have predicted there's likely to be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 so it's really important that we do everything we can to keep our beaches plastic free.

"That's why we're encouraging people to pick up any plastic bottles or other rigid plastic they find on the beach and recycle it in the TerraCycle plastic recycling containers on the seafront.

"It's not just bottles, it could be anything from discarded plastic buckets and spades to cups and yoghurt pots or even plastic tennis rackets. If we all join in we can really make a difference in helping keep our beaches clean."


The scheme is being backed by local businesses, including Tom Parkin, who with his wife Sue, runs Sue's Cafe. He said:

"We will support anything that helps keep the beaches clean. it's good for the seafront and good for the environment."

The scheme is operated in partnership with TerraCycle, who have come up with a recycling process that transforms beach and ocean plastics into a form that can be used to create a recyclable bottle.

They have partnered with Proctor and Gamble to recycle beach plastic worldwide and are working to create the world's first recyclable shampoo bottle made from beach plastics.