The Great British Beach Clean: September 2017

The Great British Beach Clean runs from 15th – 18th September, and to mark the event we’re talking with Surfers Against Sewage about their new project: Plastic Free Coastlines. The idea behind the Plastic Free Coastlines project is to encourage communities to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics, alongside raising awareness of the issues surrounding plastics and why we should turn away from them.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have come up with the new concept, in which a new ‘continent’ has been created in the Pacific ocean called Wasteland. It is a continent made entirely out of throwaway plastic and was unfortunately created by us. Five times the size of the UK, Wasteland is growing and threatens to destroy us and our planet.

A new SAS study looked at the plastic consumption habits of over 2000 people across the UK and revealed that one in four are unaware that not all plastics are recyclable, with the average person throwing away 23kg of single-use plastic every year (equivalent to the weight of a seven-year-old child.)

The most common single-use plastics found on our beaches by Surfers Against Sewage are:

  • Plastic bottles
  • Coffee cups and lids
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Straws and plastic stirrers
  • Plastic packaging for food-on-the-go

It’s impossible to get the existing 269,000 tonnes of plastic out of the ocean, but together we can stop putting more in.”

But how can we get involved?

In a bid to reduce the quantities of plastic entering our oceans, SAS is calling for the public to join the resistance against Wasteland – the name given to this growing mass of marine plastic – and resist the use of single-use plastics.

Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, says: “There are easy steps we can all take to join the resistance against the flow of plastic feeding Wasteland. Whether that’s refusing throwaway plastics wherever we can, taking refillable water bottles with you, reusing plastic bags on your weekly shop at the supermarket or making sure you recycle more, we all have our role to play.

There are various plastic alternatives you can use instead. Why not replace your single-use coffee cup for a reusable one? Or switching your plastic cutlery to metal, bamboo or other reusable options? We love the idea of switching out our plastic bags for reusable alternatives – like these jute bags featuring limited edition illustrations from Cornish artists.

Up for joining the resistance against Wasteland to reduce our plastic footprint and help create plastic free coastlines? You can find out more information here: www.plasticfree.org.uk