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Exeter leading the way in keeping our beaches plastic free

Published: 10 October 2018

Beaches Plastic Free SW free plastic conference

Exeter’s role in helping to keep the oceans and beaches in the south west clear of plastic has been showcased at a major conference.

Discarded plastic collected from our coastline is being sent to Exeter City Council’s Materials Reclamation Facility (MRF), where it is being sorted, batched up and sent for recycling.

Matt Hulland, who runs the MRF and is the driving force behind the collaboration with Keep Britain Tidy’s Beachcare initiative, spoke at the RECOUP (Recycling of Used Plastics Limited) Plastics Conference about Exeter’s role in recycling plastics collected from beaches in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Matt joined forces with Neil Hembrow of Beachcare to exhibit a kayak made from recycled marine plastics. The conference was attended by 400 people from the plastics industry.

The partnership with Beach Care and Keep Britain Tidy not only helps rid the sea and beaches of unwanted and damaging materials but also helps keep council tax bills down by raising much needed revenue from the sale of recycled plastic.

Beach Care use volunteers, including kayakers and divers, to collect plastic from the sea and beaches. Not only do they find fish netting, trays and buckets from trawlers but also plastic bottles and other discarded items from people using the beaches. Items being found come from as far as The Netherlands and Ireland as well as parts of the South West.

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