Eyemouth campaigners ‘delighted’ town has been awarded 'Plastic Free' status

  • Video report by Jennifer Cordingley

Environmental campaigners in Eyemouth say they are "delighted" the town has received 'Plastic Free' status. This is an honorary title awarded by Surfers Against Sewage, an environmental charity.

Pushing the town's green agenda is Sea the Change, a not-for-profit organisation based in Eyemouth which operates on both sides of the border, from Coldingham in the north and Seahouses in the south.

For years, the group have been working with businesses from the town, encouraging them to ditch single use plastics to help protect the environment and to stop litter ending up in the ocean.

They started the Plastic Free Eyemouth campaign, which involved getting businesses and organisations to swap out single-use plastics for more sustainable options.

Students volunteering with the group set about making changes at their school, Berwickshire High, reducing the huge amounts of waste produced by the school on a daily basis by switching from plastic to metal cutlery, ditching ketchup sashes and re-introducing water bottles.

So far 27 businesses and community organisations have made in total 65 reductions in single-use plastic across the town.

The local florist, Occasions Eyemouth, swapped their plastic wrap for brown paper saying their customers actually prefer it and the paper can be broken down or recycled.

Owner Gemma Landells said, “Whether it's our cards or our recyclable envelopes, it's just about being a bit more conscious of what you're buying and then passing that information on to your customer, we do find our consumers are really behind it, we're really changing and it's great to see that's happening in Eyemouth.”

Every year Sea the Change runs two Coastal Clean Ups at the start and end of the tourist season with support from the community, over 100 people have turned up every time. The pandemic has put a stop to these events but the group say they are planning future activities for when lockdown restrictions ease.