In this month’s Plastic Free North Devon column, Claire Moodie is looking at how festivals and events can help in the fight against pollution.

Greenpeace estimates that globally up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year, that's an average of 1,450 tonnes per hour.

Multiplied by the duration of time which constitutes the Goldcoast Oceanfest weekend, it equates to an amazing 84,100 tonnes alone.

To help combat this horrific statistic, Oceanfest are taking a lead and banning single-use plastics at the festival this year.

And they're asking everyone attending to play their part by not bringing single-use plastic bottles to the event or beach.

For those wishing to drink water - which we wholly recommend - all festival-goers are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle and refill it at the Plastic Free North Devon Water Bar, which will be serving filtered and chilled mains water all weekend (June 21-23).

Organisers Shaun and Warren Latham said: "Since 2014, when Oceanfest introduced their reusable bar cups, all other areas of the event have been reducing the use of single-use plastics too.

"This year, catering concessions will be using vegware and wooden utensils and cold drinks will be available in cans. Please help grow the movement to say no to single-use plastics and make the right decisions by joining our pledge in efforts to protect the beautiful playgrounds which we all enjoy here in North Devon."

Festivals aren't the only ones taking a stance on single use plastic, local sporting events are doing their bit too. Croyde Ocean Triathlon was the first sporting event to be awarded the Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) plastic free approved status last year, but that was just the start.

From race snacks, numbers, signage and prizes, they looked at every possible angle to reduce their impact. If you would like any advice on how to do this we have co-produced a free sports event guide. We also offer advice and support on general events too. Email claireplasticfreenorthdevon @gmail.com.

Plastic free chamption: Witten Park Vets

This month's plastic free champion is the first veterinary practice, and the first for Northam too.

Witten Park Vets, off Heywood Road, has been serving the local community and taking care of our furry friends for more than 40 years.

Directors Henry Hartley and Gareth Cross are now working hard to cut down their use of single-use plastics too.

So far they have replaced plastic cups with paper, and use cardboard tablet containers where possible.

Cotton buds now have cardboard inners, syringes have 30 per cent plastic, and any plastic containers for purified water are now offered free for reuse as water butts, instead of going to landfill.

The vets is now working towards auditing its recycling and replacing plastic bags with paper ones, once all stock is used up.

Mr Hartley said: "We are pleased to be helping to reduce plastic waste in beautiful North Devon."