Manx plastic use must 'significantly' fall to reduce marine pollution

Image source, Beach Buddies
Image caption,
A seal with debris around its neck was photographed by beach cleaning volunteers

The usage of single-use plastic must "significantly" reduce to lower marine pollution around the Isle of Man, the chief minister has said.

Howard Quayle said current use was "clearly unsustainable" if the island wanted to "remain a special place".

Beach cleaning charity Beach Buddies' Bill Dale said "massive" amounts of plastic had gathered in January.

He said a seal was spotted with debris around its neck, which was "cast iron evidence" of the problem.

Mr Quayle told the House of Keys on Tuesday that the government must "lead from the front" on the issue.

He said a government committee had been tasked to develop a plan by May to "significantly reduce the amount of single use plastic over the course of this administration".

Image source, Bill Dale
Image caption,
Beach Buddies said washed-up plastic is a growing problem on Manx beaches

The Manx Wildlife Trust's Marine officer Lara Howe said the image of the seal plainly highlighted the impact of litter and plastic on the island's wildlife and was "clearly... a sad and depressing sight".

Mr Dale, who founded the beach cleaning charity, said there was "no need to prove [the problem] is happening in the Isle of Man", as it was so clearly obvious ever time he went out.

"Without doubt, it's a very sad reflection on human beings and what we are doing to the planet and its innocent animals".

The statement by Mr Quayle came two weeks after a Douglas restaurateur called for the Isle of Man to ban all single-use plastic straws. to help lower pollution levels.

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