LOCAL authorities have come together to do their bit for the planet and encourage residents to join them in a new ‘Love Essex – Not Plastic’ campaign.

The Essex-wide campaign aims to tackle the volume of waste across the county by highlighting single-use plastics and urging households to switch to reusable options and recycle more.

The campaign launches on Monday with adverts across social media to inspire residents to make a New Year’s resolution to say no to single-use plastic.

Love Essex is designed to help people reduce, re-use, repair and recycle their waste in and around Essex.

Each year, around 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced and 40 per cent of that is single-use plastic such as drinks bottles, carrier bags and coffee cups.

Only 57 per cent of plastic bottles are collected to be recycled in the UK.

Throughout each month in 2020 the campaign will focus on one item and making one small change at a time.

These will include ditching single-use plastic cups, bottles, straws and bags, and switching to reusable ones instead.

Braintree Council environment boss Wendy Schmitt said: “Thanks to programmes such as Blue Planet II and Drowning in Plastic, we’ve all seen the devastating impact of becoming a plastic planet.

“2020 is a year of change and now it’s even more vital we all do whatever is necessary to deplete our reliance on single-use plastic. If everyone in Essex used one less plastic bottle, we’d save 1.5 million bottles alone.”

To be a part of the Love Essex plastic solution, take the Love Essex Plastic Pledge at loveessex.org/plasticpledge.