People across Dorset are being urged to take the #DrasticOnPlastic Timer Challenge and find out how long they can go without using pointless plastic.

Single-use plastic is still too often an unavoidable part of our everyday lives, despite huge public concern over the impact of plastic on our wildlife, and moves to ditch items such as straws, bags and coffee cups.

The #DrasticOnPlastic Timer Challenge, which is organised by Friends of the Earth, will give people the chance to see how long they can go without encountering unwanted plastic – and shine a spotlight on just how much of our lives comes coated in plastic.

Taking part is simple. Start the timer on your phone and leave it running until you use your first bit of single-use plastic - such as plastic-wrapped food, plastic drinks container or bag. Then hit the stop button.

Register on the #DrasticOnPlastic web page: (or via the Friends of the Earth web site) - and you’ll be sent a form where you can enter your time, as well as information on the plastic item that ended your challenge. This will help Friends of the Earth to build a picture of where action on alternatives is still needed.

The plastic challenge is part of Friends of the Earth’s new #DrasticOnPlastic campaign, which highlights the fact that action so far on single-use plastic is just the tip of the iceberg.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the public to back its campaign for new legislation to require tougher government action on single-use plastic and other sources of plastic pollution.

The Friends of the Earth website is also packed with tips and advice to help cut back on plastic:

Friends of the Earth’s plastic-free campaigner Julian Kirby said:

“Lots of companies have made proud claims about reducing plastic - but just how easy is it to avoid plastic bags, cups, bottles and packaging in our everyday lives?

“Take the plastic challenge and find out how long you can go before you have to use an item of throw-away plastic.

“And by letting us know which bit of unwanted plastic ended your challenge, it will help us put pressure on retailers and manufacturers to reduce the waves of pointless plastic pollution that blights our environment and harms our wildlife.

“It’s time for the government to get drastic on plastic - and that’s why we need a new law to ensure tougher action to end the plastic pollution crisis.”