PENARTH is now the latest town to go “plastic free”.

The town has been awarded Plastic Free Community status by marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in recognition of its work reducing the impact of single-use plastic.

Towns across the UK have been working towards being plastic free – a concerted effort to cut down on disposable plastic waste.

The event was attended by campaigners, politicians and other luminaries, including champion athlete Colin Jackson. Anthony Slaughter, of environmental organisation Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) started the campaign last year, together with other members of the community.

Mr Slaughter said: “Support from the local community has been key to our campaign’s success. This was an issue that was already a concern to many and they welcomed the opportunity to be involved with practical action to tackle the problem.”

Gideon Calder, GPG Chair and steering group member said: "We are delighted that the community’s efforts to tackle this important issue have been recognised with the award of the SAS Plastic Free Community status.

"Of course, Penarth will never be completely free of plastic, but this campaign will seriously reduce the use of polluting single use plastics in our community."

The campaign won support from local independent businesses, many already taking steps to reduce use of single use plastics.

Alison Jones, owner of Crepe Escape, replaced plastic straws, cutlery and cups in her business and played an important role in the campaign by encouraging other local businesses.

Other local community organisations and schools aided the campaign. This included a survey of local businesses by Penarth Youth Action, and a beach clean arranged by the local scout group.

Rachel Yates, SAS Plastic Free communities project officer, said: “It’s great to see the work that Penarth has done to reduce the availability of avoidable plastics, raise awareness and encourage people to refill and reuse.”

Haf Elgar, director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, said: “The ‘plastic free communities’ initiative is doing a great job of raising awareness of plastic pollution and is enabling communities to take action at a local level. Many of our local groups are working with Surfers Against Sewage to reduce plastic in their communities and we wholeheartedly support the fantastic work it is doing.”

Vaughan Gething AM said: “This is a testament to the hard work of local volunteers.

"It demonstrates that people in Penarth care deeply about this issue and are ready to work together to solve it. It has been a genuine community effort with everyone, in particular local businesses, playing their part. We have a wonderful stretch of coastline and we all wish to protect it.”