Weymouth Beach could be one of the UK's first 'plastic free' beaches – as well as offering healthy food options.

Beach traders will soon have to switch to biodegradable drinking straws and use refillable sauce dispensers instead of plastic sachets.

And visitors will soon be able to enjoy a guilt-free seaside snack without having to leave the famous golden sands, because traders will also be required to offer healthy options on their menus.

However it will still be possible for fast-food lovers to get their fix – there's nothing stopping traders from offering the usual beachside fare – provided healthy options are available.

The refreshing move was unanimously approved by forward-thinking members of Weymouth Town Council's services committee during a wider debate about beach trader contracts for next season and beyond.

In future, traders will be required to work with the council to help meet its climate change objective of being carbon neutral by 2030 or sooner.

Last month the town council officially declared a climate emergency in Weymouth, and agreed a motion to begin looking at ways to reduce the town's carbon footprint.

Speaking in favour of the proposal, Cllr David Harris said: "If we are seen as a leader in offering healthier choices, this could attract more people to come and enjoy the delights of Weymouth.

"It's good to be on the forefront of these developments."

Kevin Good, beach manager for the town, said it was "very positive" to hear councillors supporting use of sustainable alternatives to plastic. Although research has already been carried out, Mr Good suggested looking further at other areas such as Swanage, where similar schemes are being pioneered.

"A lot of people do want healthy options such as salad bars and juice bars", he added.

Recalling past experience running a café on Weymouth seafront, Cllr Christine James said that refillable dispensers could be a cost-effective solution as well as eco-friendly.

"We got rid of sauce sachets once we realised how many are wasted", she said. "They get pinched and people often take far more sachets than they need".

Cllr Mark Tewkesbury said he was in favour of the proposal but said that more research is needed. "We need to look at examples of best practise to make sure traders can still make a profit", he said.

The committee agreed the recommendations as part of a motion to carry out a tendering exercise for seasonal catering on the beach and negotiate new contracts with heritage attractions.