ONE million pounds is spent removing waste from beaches across the BCP Council area.

The figure has been revealed as a new report on the local authority's sustainable approach to reduce plastic on the beach is released.

The first of its kind, the report has been commissioned by BCP Council as part of an investment into the seafront.

It has been undertaken by environmental not-for-profit organisation City to Sea and sets out ambitious plans for the council to reduce single-use plastic on our beaches.

Holder of more blue flags than any other UK local authority, BCP Council currently spends £1 million per year removing waste from its beaches.

City to Sea works with organisations to run behaviour change campaigns highlighting how small actions can make a big difference.

They estimate that if just one in 10 residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole refilled a water bottle just once a week, more than a million plastic bottles a year would be saved.

Proposals in the report focus on the new £2.4million Durley environmental innovation hub, funded by the coastal communities fund, and options to further build on the cutting-edge environmental credentials and Passivhaus design.

They seek to deliver:

• a thriving, revenue-generating and accessible venue that models environmentally positive behaviour and systems

• a new dedicated learning space for residents and visitors to drive behaviour change, connecting people’s actions to the oceans and build environmental guardianship

• a showcase for BCP Council’s development as a low impact destination, where refill and reuse replace single-use

• a new catering kiosk, trialling innovative ways of working

• Seaside School – an education resource for schools and families.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, portfolio holder for tourism and active health: “Coastal councils such as ourselves work continuously to remove litter and care for our beaches.

“The single-use, throw-away model means it is increasingly difficult for people to make environmentally sound choices.

“By working with experts in their field we aim to develop our understanding of solutions. We need to design reuse back into our operations on the beach using practical solutions that can be delivered both operationally and commercially.

“This report from City to Sea will develop our understanding and bring the Durley innovation hub to life as an education space for residents and visitors.

“Preventing single use plastic in the first place rather than collecting it from our beaches is a strategy underpinned by our ‘cleaner, greener, safer’ initiative.”