A CAMPAIGN to stamp out the use of plastic drinking bottles and ready meals cartons in a Hampshire borough has been launched by environmentalists.

Fareham and Gosport Friends of the Earth are seeking to ban the use of SUP’s (Single Use Plastics) across Fareham but their aims have been dismissed as over-ambitious by civic chiefs.

Councillor Sean Woodward, executive leader of Fareham Borough Council said: “We’re very supportive of Friends of the Earth, but the proposal isn’t practical and almost impossible. However, we’re always looking for ways we can improve our current output.

“We as a council have one of the highest recycling rates in the country and let residents have access to as many recycling bins and facilities as possible to maximise our recycling output.”

Friends of the Earth has been lobbying the council to ban SUPs in their properties.

The group claim that more than eight million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean every year and more than 80 per cent of plastic waste produced in the UK goes straight to landfill.

Tim Pratt, co-ordinator of Fareham and Gosport Friends of the Earth said: “The materials that single use plastic’s (SUP’s) are manufactured from take thousands of years to develop, yet they are used by consumers within one to two minutes so we are aiming to raise awareness to find alternative materials.

“Gosport and Fareham currently have some outstanding recycling facilities but we need to draw attention to the fact that there is so much more than plastic bags that end up in our oceans, and we need to take action.”

Fareham residents recycled over 11,990 tonnes of waste in 2015-16 financial year, and civic chiefs hope to achieve a much higher target this year to tackle sustainability.