MILLPORT'S Field Studies Council is celebrating after netting a green tourism award for their sustainability.

Centre staff say they are 'thrilled' to have been awarded a silver gong for their efforts in making the business 'a pillar of eco-friendly tourism'.

The team hope to build on their success by grabbing a gold next year as they strive to make the centre entirely free of single use plastic.

Centre manager Alex Macfie says the whole team is delighted to have received recognition for something they are all so passionate about.

She said: "We are proud of the work all of the team here do locally, as well as educating our visitors on how they can become more sustainable in their own lives.

"There were a number of criteria we had to meet to achieve this award, ranging from large things like using a biomass plant to heat the centre, to smaller goals such as providing Fairtrade coffee and sugar.

"Our aquarium and museum also have areas focussed on the plastic pollution problem in the world’s oceans. We don’t sell single-use plastic water bottles, on Mondays our catering is meat-free and our electricity is supplied by Ecotricity.

"We are looking forward to pushing ourselves on and achieve the gold standard award.

"We are also aiming to be single use plastic free by 2020 and have already implemented lots of measures across the site to reduce our plastic consumption.

"These include using suppliers who reduce their single use plastic packaging and no longer using cling-film.

"If a residential centre with 150 people to feed can manage without cling-film then I’m sure most households can too.

"Alternatives such as beeswax wraps are easy to use and inexpensive as they are reusable."

Businesses are assessed by a qualifier grading advisor against a set of criteria, covering a range of areas including energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity, community involvement and more.

Alex says she is proud to be part of a community who are all striving to better the planet.

She added: "I think it is fantastic that so many people are undertaking beach cleans in our community and beyond.

"On Cumbrae several members of the community have participated with Cumbrae Beecology group and also with FSC Millport.

"If every one of us picked up just a handful of litter every time we visit the beach we could start making some of the positive change needed to save our marine life."