WALNEY’S wildlife warden has backed the efforts of 19 leading environment charities calling on the Government to reduce the amount of single-use plastics.

The Government must phase-out all non-essential single-use plastics by 2025 to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution, say 19 leading environment charities, coordinated by Wildlife and Countryside Link.

The organisations have claimed that this could save more than 4,000 billion pieces of unnecessary single-use plastic waste being consumed in the UK between 2026 - 2042, helping to slash the ‘toxic plastic soup’ ending up in our oceans, rivers and countryside.

In a joint report published on Friday (March 22), 19 organisations concerned with the impact of plastic pollution on the environment and wildlife, are calling for a wholesale transition away from single-use plastic.

This, they say, must be an urgent priority if the government truly wants to fulfil its pledge to be a global leader in tackling plastic pollution.

Sarah Dalrymple, Warden at South Walney Nature Reserve said: “Single-use plastics are a massive problem. It wasn't so long ago that we carried out a beach clean on Walney and after doing one only last week we found even more plastic along the shores.

"The problem never goes away so I would like to see the Government committed towards the eradication of single-use plastics."

Dr Sue Kinsey of Marine Conservation Society said: "Plastic pollution is an environmental emergency and Government needs to treat it as such.

The damage our ‘throwaway’ culture has done to our seas is clear.

"We urgently need to reduce the amount of plastic we produce and use if we’re to lead the way in turning the plastic tide.

Juliet Phillips of Environmental Investigation Agency said: "Plastic pollutes at each stage of its life cycle, from extraction to disposal. It’s increasingly clear that we cannot recycle our way out of this crisis: the focus must instead emphasise reduction. We call for the adoption of measures that reduce dependency on all non-essential plastic items and packaging, supporting companies to rethink their supply chains and delivery models."

In the joint report, the groups say the number-one priority for the Government must be a reduction in the production and consumption of plastic items, followed by an increase in reuse and, finally, simple and cost-effective recycling, preferably within the UK.