Cornwall Council is joining other coastal areas in supporting a new campaign by TV personality Joe Lycett to ban the sale of polystyrene bodyboards and replace them with more sustainable alternatives. 


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

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 the environment and climate change, Martyn Alvey, is supporting Joe Lycett’s campaign. He is asking business leaders and town and parish councils across Cornwall to get on board with the initiative and encourage retailers to stock more durable products.

He said: “We have all seen the images of the mountain of polystyrene boards that get left behind by beach-goers. 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…

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

This tear, Little Goat Gruff, at 40 Fore Street, St Ives, offered free hire of wooden belly boards.