A COUNCILLOR has called for nationwide action to tackle the problem of 'plastic pollution'.

In a letter to secretary of state for environment Michael Gove, Cllr Phill Brightmore demands the reduction of 'single-use' plastics as part of a national strategy.

He also requested a ministerial visit to showcase what is being done to tackle the issue in Wirral.

In the letter, Cllr Brightmore - cabinet member for the environment - wrote: "As a peninsula, our beaches are incredibly important, they play a major role in the lives of local residents as well as being an major attraction for visitors.

"Concerns have been rising that SUPs are polluting seas and coasts across the world and on our own doorstep.

"Our efforts as a Labour council are intended to add to the fabulous work carried out by many local groups and I am proud to work in partnership with them.

"They work hard to keep our beaches clean by reducing the amount of plastic waste washing up there.

"However, the issue is less about cleaning up after the mess has been made - and instead taking action now to prevent the problem arising and continuing into the future.

"At the December meeting of Wirral Council, councillors agreed with me that we should press the Government to back our initiative and ensure the reduction of SUP forms part of any future national Waste Management Strategy, on the basis that this is an issue which affects us all and must be part of a nationwide approach.

"You told the BBC in December 2017 that you were 'haunted' by plastic pollution seen on the programme Blue Planet II.

"While we as a Labour council may disagree with much of your Government's policies, I welcome the recent pledge to eliminate avoidable plastic by 2042.

"However, this pledge must be more than warm, green words."

The Cabinet Member also wants the Government to demonstrate its commitment to the green agenda and back the Council’s efforts to make Wirral the greenest council in the city region.

Initial steps have seen local schools begin to ban plastic straws, the development of a Single Use Plastic Free code for local business to adopt and the Council’s service provision to become SUP Free.

The Council has also established a SUP Free Taskforce, featuring partners and volunteers, to reduce and where possible eradicate the use of single use plastic across the borough.

Referring to his letter, Cllr Brightmore said: "Plastic pollution is a problem engulfing the length and breadth of Britain's coastline and, despite the hard work of council staff and volunteers, Wirral is no different.

"The reduction of single use plastics is an issue Wirral Council has prioritised and I am determined that our borough should become an example for others to follow.

"The secretary of state should accept my invitation to see the good work taking place in Wirral and how, with Government backing, we could be doing so much more.

"We must act now to protect our beaches and coast for future generations to come."