BOURNEMOUTH council has pledged to cut the amount of single-use plastics used across the town.

Councillors voted unanimously to introduce measures to tackle plastic waste and the threat it causes to the marine and coastal environment.

From May, all council-owned catering outlets will use only plastic-free, compostable or biodegradable cups, stirrers and straws.

Building on the success of those that have already gone plastic-free, work will be undertaken to encourage all businesses across the town to reduce their plastic waste.

New segregated waste bins will be introduced along the promenade, in addition to the segregated bins which have been installed as part of the Pier Approach revamp.

All of this will be backed up by a town-wide awareness campaign to encourage residents and visitors to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics.

People will instead be encouraged to use the Dorset Refill website and app to find water taps where they can refill their bottles.

Councillor Mike Greene, cabinet member for transport, cleansing and waste, proposed the motion to council.

He said: “Plastic pollution is a global issue which is firmly on the national agenda, and we all have a role to play in tackling the problem. In making every effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste the council is showing clearly it is prepared to take a lead.

“Growing on the success of some of our established responsible businesses who have already implemented a zero-plastic approach, we want all businesses in Bournemouth to come on board.

“We are drawing up plans for a year-round campaign to encourage residents and visitors to reduce their use of plastic in Bournemouth. Once people understand just how much damage plastics can do to marine life and the eco-system they are willing to act responsibly, and often help in spreading the message.

“Where people do use plastic, we will make it easier for them to dispose of that plastic responsibly," he added.

As well as the changes to its own catering outlets, Cllr Greene indicated that the council is looking to change the way it awards contracts.

He said: “We want to make it clear that if a supplier wishes to do business with the council, it must demonstrate the measures it will take to minimise packaging and reduce requirements for single-use plastic.”