ISLAND businesses are getting behind the campaign to keep plastics out of the oceans.
A notice on the blackboard of Lady Scarlett’s Tea Parlour, on Ventnor Esplanade, states the venue is going plastic free.
The cafe is one of many Island businesses looking to reduce plastic waste generated from coffee cups, straws and other food packaging.
Owner Angela Groves said: “We have always been pro upcycling and recycling, but we are now looking to go completely plastic free, going over to glass bottles, giving paper straws instead of plastic and not providing plastic lids on drinks.
“We will not buy anything unless it is biodegradable and all our coffee waste goes into compost.
“It is all about enabling our marine population to thrive. It’s about going back to how we lived in the 1940s, which fits the theme of the tea parlour perfectly.”
The team behind Smoking Lobster and Tramezzini, also both in Ventnor, are heading towards being plastic free, having investigated biodegradable and re-usable options, particularly for coffee cups and lids. 
Plastic straws have been replaced with metal and locals are encouraged to use re-usable take-away cups. 
With outlets in Newport, Cowes and Ryde, French Franks is also leading the way, with core packaging lines such as bags, wraps and salad boxes in brown kraft paper.
Owner Mark Horton explained: “By the end of this month, our take-out cups will be compostable, with plant-based starch liners, a relatively new product on the market. 
“Our shakes and smoothie containers are also being switched to bio-degradable material.
“Another initiative which is being rolled out over the next few weeks is re-useable travel cups. 
“We have French Franks travel mugs available for a small charge or two full stamped coffee loyalty cards. Drinks sold in a re-usable cup will be at a 20p discount.
“I am positive, with the focus the take-out coffee sector has on it, there will be rapid innovation and resolution quickly as regards plastic content and post-use processing.”
Sarah Marshall, of Ventnor, runs a group, Plastic Aware, which can be found on Facebook.
Her main aims are to make individuals and businesses aware of problems caused by marine plastic pollution and to offer solutions.
Sarah finds most plastic litter at beach cleans comes from detritus left from people eating and drinking on the beach, including ketchup sachets, straws and single-use cups. 
“It is all stuff we don’t even need,” she said. “We have to start thinking, do we actually need it? Can we re-use it?”