A five-year strategy to rid North Devon of single-use plastics has been agreed by the region’s plastic free consortium.

Members of the Plastic Free North Devon Consortium, which has representatives from local councils, charities, voluntary groups and organisations, agreed the strategy which will work across four key areas.

Aims of the strategy include increasing education about the impact of plastic waste, reducing plastic consumption, removing plastic that has entered the environment, and delivering more projects to ensure its message is heard.

Plastic Free North Devon coordinator, Claire Moodie said: “The consortium is one of the most exciting things to come out the 'Plastic Free North Devon' movement.

“Having a joined up vision and strategy supported by credible and competent organisations is crucial to engaging with every aspect of our community.

“Our vision goes beyond reducing single-use plastic; this is about driving and supporting systematic change throughout our communities which protects and enhances the natural environment we rely on.”

The consortium was set up in April last year in a bid to combat plastic pollution. Those involved include Keep Britain Tidy, National Trust, Petroc, Two Minutes Beach Clean, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and South Molton town councils and North Devon and Torridge district councils.

North Devon Council's executive member for the environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, said: “We as a consortium have a lot of work to do over the next five years and beyond, but I'm delighted that we have been able to agree such an ambitious and rounded strategy that will help us to make a huge impact on the circulation of single-use plastics in northern Devon.”

Torridge's lead member for the environment, Councillor Ken James, said: “While we need to deal with plastic waste in a more robust way the key thrust must be to reduce the prevalence of disposable plastics in the first place. I look forward to working with our partners to achieving these goals.”