A CAMPAIGN to turn the tide on plastic pollution in our seas and oceans has been launched in Harwich.

Harwich Haven Authority has set up the initiative to raise awareness about the affect plastic is

having on local marine environments.

Each year it is estimated that billions of plastic items such as bags, drinking straws, cotton buds and face wipes end up in our oceans and sea.

The effects were featured on Sir David Attenborough’s BBC one programme Blue Planet II.

The show revealed plastic debris has been found in the most remote oceans with marine creatures stomachs being full of plastic items.

Harwich Haven Authority said is has launched the campaign to conserve, protect and improve Harwich Harbour and its surrounding rivers.

The campaign is aimed at residents, commercial and leisure operators and the estimated 10,000 leisure vessels that visit the Haven each year.

Neil Glendinning, chief executive of Harwich Haven Authority, said: “The practice of disposing of plastic into our seas and oceans is now a global problem that each and every one of us must take responsibility for.

“We hope that our new initiative will go some way to raise awareness among our stakeholders in the Haven that the time has come to turn the tide on plastic. Even small changes, such as refilling water bottles, will make a huge difference to the amount of plastic waste we produce.

“As an organisation we will also be looking at ways that we can reduce our waste and recycle more efficiently.”

The awareness campaign was launched to coincide with

World Environment day on Tuesday.

Harwich Haven Authority staff spent the afternoon giving away reusable cotton bags and speaking with visitors about the issue on Ha’penny Pier.

The campaign will be running throughout the summer and events will be listed on the Harwich Haven Authority Facebook page.