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Port Solent joins the Final Straw Solent Campaign

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Port Solent has joined the Final Straw Solent campaign that aims to reduce the use of single-use plastics along the Solent, demonstrating its commitment to minimise the impact of plastic on the marine environment.

Lisa Fowler, Events, Marketing & Centre Administrator, said: “We’re delighted to be working with The Final Straw Solent, in the hope of making Port Solent plastic straw-free. Whilst we know this may be a challenge, it is one we are passionate about and hope that all of our tenants come on board and join us.”

Final Straw Solent founder, Bianca Carr, added: “We strongly believe that this collaboration will be incredibly successful and will help us to achieve our goals of one day making the Solent area, at the very least, free from single-use plastic straws. With the high level of footfall through Port Solent we feel that this such an important location to help spread awareness of the plastic crisis and how it is potentially affecting our marine life.

“We hope that people will follow this campaign. Please join us at our beach cleans, and make environmentally sensitive choices when you are shopping or out for a drink or meal. Together we are powerful and can make a huge difference to our impact on our beautiful Solent coastline.”

Single-use plastic straws are, on average, used for 20 minutes before they are tossed in a bin (or, unfortunately, on the floor). The Marine Conservation Society estimates that the UK uses 8.5 billion single-use plastic straws a year. They are one of the most found pieces of plastic litter at beach clean-ups around the country. It is estimated that a plastic straw will take over 200 years to break down. And before they start to break down, they can pose a threat to wildlife. When the plastic eventually starts to break down, it becomes tiny bits of microplastic that can be eaten by marine animals. There is some evidence these microplastics have entered our food chain. Plastics in the ocean act like a magnet for chemicals, it absorbs and holds them so that if they are ingested, they cause even more problems as the chemicals are slowly released.

Final Straw Solent’s top tips on how to make a difference to your single-use plastic footprint:

REFUSE STRAWS. Most people do not need a straw, and if you do, then why not use a paper, wheat or bamboo straw or reusable metal one? If you are offered a straw in a cafe, bar or restaurant, just say ‘no thanks!’.

USE REUSABLE BAGS. Plastic bags are not very strong anyway and can get blown into the countryside, waterways or the sea so easily. There are loads of interesting, cool and pretty reusable fabric shopping bags around, so why not take one of those with you every time you go shopping, rather than asking for a plastic one?

USE REUSEABLE WATER BOTTLES. Single-use plastic bottles are expensive to produce, use up valuable natural resources to make and transport, and create mountains of waste once we’ve gulped down the contents. And recycling’s not the answer either, here in the UK an estimated 800 plastic bottles a MINUTE are either ending up in landfill or as litter, which will too often make its way into our waterways and out to sea. We can all help with this by purchasing a re-useable water bottle.

Put simply, if it’s plastic or wrapped in plastic, think about viable alternatives. Refuse that straw and any other unnecessary plastic, spread the word and help save the planet!