Cornwall Council is joining other coastal areas in supporting a new campaign by Channel 4 TV’s ‘Joe Lycett's Got Your Back’ to ban the sale of polystyrene bodyboards and replace them with more sustainable alternatives. 

The BAFTA-nominated comedy consumer rights series is highlighting how the cheap and flimsy bodyboards are discarded in coastal towns across the UK each year littering beaches and polluting the sea. 

The episode to be broadcast on Channel 4 on October 7 will look at sustainable alternatives and call for retailers to stock more durable bodyboards that can be rented out, thus ensuring that the items are not abandoned and treated as disposable. 

Keep Britain Tidy has reported that 16,000 polystyrene bodyboards end up discarded on UK beaches every year.

The brightly coloured boards usually cost less than £10 and are known to break easily and get discarded on beaches.

They have a large carbon footprint and because polystyrene is fragile and crumbles easily, the small white polystyrene balls can be mistaken as food by fish and other marine life.  

Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change Martyn Alvey is supporting Joe Lycett’s campaign and is asking business leaders and town and parish councils across Cornwall to get on board the initiative and encourage retailers to stock more durable products for sale or rent.

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 Cllr Alvey said: "We have all seen the images of the mountain of polystyrene boards that get left behind by beachgoers. 

"We are asking local businesses to support the movement to ‘get on board’ with the Council and remove the sale of polystyrene bodyboards from Cornwall altogether. 

"We want to encourage Cornwall’s retailers to consider stocking more durable, climate-friendly, bodyboards that can be rented out, as a more sustainable option for the environment and businesses. "If you would like to support the campaign, please talk to your local retailers and encourage them to find a different and better way for everyone to enjoy Cornwall’s waves. 

"Personally, I am particularly keen to see the return to the old wood bodyboards used by my mum and grandmother!"

 There are initiatives in Cornwall that are already dealing with the problem of polystyrene bodyboards: 

Cornwall Council is supporting Waterhaul, a social enterprise based in Cornwall which has a mission to transform the ocean’s most damaging plastic from waste to resource. Waterhaul is developing an education and outreach program through our Crowdfunder #BackTheFuture Cornwall Climate Action scheme. 

BeachCare and Rivercare recycle and repurpose left behind boards. The Friends of Fistral Dunes ‘Newquay Bodyboard Recycling scheme’ collects and recycles boards.

‘Joe Lycett's Got Your Back' featuring the bodyboards campaign is due to be aired on Channel 4 on Thursday, October 7, at 8pm.