Bideford, Appledore and Westward Ho! have all been designated ‘plastic free’ by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

The accreditation, part of the national Plastic Free Coastlines campaign by the charity, shows business, schools, councils and community groups have all pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastics.

And while the plastic free status is a victory for the campaigners behind it, it is only the beginning.

“The Plastic Free Coastlines campaign is about bringing together the community to stop single-use plastics at the source,” said SAS campaigner Cal Major.

“Plastic Free Coastlines doesn’t mean the entire community is without plastic.

“It’s about swapping the unnecessary single-use plastic items where we don’t need them.

“People have had an incredibly positive response and there has been a lot of pride from business owners who are coming together to protect the local environment.”

The Plastic Free Coastlines campaign has already had a huge surge of support locally.

So far across both North Devon and Torridge, more than 30 businesses have signed up by pledging to eliminate at least three single-use plastics.

North Devon and Torridge District Councils have pledged to support the movement, as well as Devon County Council and a number of parish and town councils around the districts.

Braunton, Georgeham and Croyde have already been designated ‘plastic free’ and more areas are starting to take up the idea, both on the coastline and further inland.

Cal added: “By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean in terms of weight.

“We know it is a massive issue and heaps of plastic is ending up in the ocean; 80 per cent of this originates from land.”

On April 3, Plastic Free Coastlines will be screening Skye’s The Limit at Pannier Pantry at the Custom House in Bideford, 7pm-9pm. Booking is essential by emailing Fiona Gibbon on fegview@gmail.com.

And on April 7, the SAS Big Spring Beach Clean will take place, meeting at Sandymere Car Park in Westward Ho! at 1pm.

Find out more about how to get involved on the Plastic Free Coastlines Appledore, Bideford and Westward Ho! or the Plastic Free North Devon Facebook pages.