AN INITIATIVE to rid Dorset beaches of litter and debris has launched its business accreditation scheme in Weymouth and Portland.

The Litter Free Coast and Sea campaign created the accreditation for food outlets and accommodation providers along the coast so they can show customers their commitment in reducing rubbish on beaches.

The scheme was launched at The B+B bed and breakfast in Weymouth.

At the meeting, Waffle On takeaway restaurant and Taste Cafe signed up to the scheme.

Matilda Bark, from Litter Free Coast and Sea, said: “The business accreditation is a way of encouraging local business to do their bit for the local beaches.

“Businesses can do a lot to help create the good beaches that are good for business.

“It’s like a cycle affect, if the beaches are good then more tourists will come to visit. It’s a really nice message to give to customers that you care about beaches and we are really pleased with the response from business in Weymouth and Portland. It is clear to see they love their beaches.”

The accreditation is free and after businesses register for it, they will receive an accreditation pack which includes self-audit sheets, stickers and posters to give to customers and children’s activity sheets.

After returning completed self-audit sheets, outlets will receive an accreditation poster to display in their window to show their support for the campaign.

The B+B on the Esplanade was the first Weymouth-based business to sign up, and Emma Carter, guest relations manager at the bed and breakfast, said: “We couldn’t not sign up to it really. It is vital that we raise awareness of our wonderful coastline and that we are very proud of it.

“Our guests are mostly families and engaging children in fun, educational activities is one of our main aims.

“We have already made some improvements following our self-audit but it also highlighted areas we will improve.

“I would encourage the business community of Weymouth and Portland to sign up and be involved in the accreditation scheme. By building partnerships with like minded business it helps to get the message across.”

To become an accredited Litter Free Coast and Sea Food Outlet, visit the website and download the pack at dorsetforyou. com/litter-free-food-outlet or contact Litter Free Coast and Sea co-ordinator Matilda Bark at m.bark@dorsetcc. or 01305 221752.