School children could be saving up to 197,000 plastic bottles a year from harming marine life with their new Plastic Clever metal drinks bottles.

With support from Salcombe Town Council, 135 metal drinks bottles have been given to the primary and preschool children of Salcombe.

The bottles were presented to them jointly by Salcombe Mayor Nikki Turton and the founder of Plastic Clever Salcombe, Anna Turns.

Anna, who founded Plastic Clever in August 2017 said: “It’s great to have support from the town council. We’re really grateful, and we’ve all been so impressed by how much these young children understand. Even the preschool children as young as two years old realise that we need to use less single-use plastic to help protect our marine wildlife.

“Plastic bottles are one of the big four plastic polluters that we, as part of Kids Against Plastic, are doing our best to avoid - reusables are always preferable and there are now lots of cafes and restaurants around Salcombe and Kingsbridge signed up to the ‘Refill’ scheme that will happily refill these bottles with free tap water.

“The solutions are simple really, and if we all make these little changes we can make a huge impact and help protect our beautiful estuary and surrounding coastline.”

Mayor Nikki Turton also expressed how proud she is to be a part of the solution: “Salcombe Town Council is very pleased to support Anna Turns’ Plastic Clever campaign in the form of a grant to purchase the metal water bottles that she and I recently presented to Salcombe’s school children. The primary students were particularly excited to receive their bottles, as they have been busy learning all about the plastic pollution of our beaches and seas.

“Having recently attended a school assembly to discuss this topical matter with the students, I know at first hand how passionate they all are in wanting to deal with this problem now. The preschool and Beehives children were also very much aware of the issues of too much plastic in our lives, obviously learning from both their teachers and older siblings! I was very proud to see and hear that Salcombe’s young people are all wanting to ‘do their bit’ in terms of ‘no more single-use plastic’.”

Salcombe C of E Primary School headmaster Andy Pugsley said: “The children received their bottles from the mayor and Anna two weeks ago. Since then nearly every child in the school is using it for their main drinks bottle. This means that there are no children within the school who are using single-use plastic bottles!

“The metal bottles that the town council have funded for the children are another huge step in the town becoming Plastic Clever. The tireless work that Anna has put into the campaign should not be underestimated. Children need constant reminders to make a sustainable change, so seeing these bottles everyday has brought about the message to the children that they can help to make a change.

“I would like to personally thank the local town council for the funding of the bottles. It shows the support that they have towards the campaign and making a sustainable difference!”

According to PowerUp, by using a refillable drinks bottle you can save up to 1,460 plastic bottles a year. Therefore the children in Salcombe alone, could save up to 197,100 bottles this year with their new metal drinks bottles.