SEA PR: Our Plastic Pollution Pledge – A Blog By Kelsi Troullos

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The image featured, taken by nature photographer Justin Hoffman, triggered so much emotion in the SEA PR office, that it inspired us to play an active part in eradicating plastic pollution.

In our fast paced and modern lives, we’ve fallen into a rut with disposable plastics. Statistics estimate that we often throw away around 50% of our plastic after one use. And Globally we manufacture over 300 million tonnes of plastic a year. Plastic is virtually indestructible, and the environment is struggling to cope.

Human neglect has been put down as the cause for our plastic oceans. By taking a walk along your local beach you can see, first hand, just how staggering our addiction to plastic has become and the damage this is doing to our environment, with plastic bottles and carrier bags being found at every step along the pebbles.

But to truly see how poignant this really is, images and documentaries, such as A Plastic Ocean (available on Netflix) and episodes in Blue Planet II (BBC) show animals dying having become entangled in plastic bags, bottles and lids.

Blue Planet II’s David Attonborough said “We have a responsibility, every one of us. We may think we live a long way from the oceans, but we don’t. What we actually do here, and in the middle of Asia and wherever, has a direct effect on the oceans – and what the oceans do then reflects back on us.”.

This affects and kills marine life, the plastic enters the food chain and the toxins released poison fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. In 2016 a German coast was named ‘The Gentle Giants Graveyard’ when 23 sperm whales were washed ashore due to digesting plastic.

It’s concerning that plastic can do this to our oceans, but together we can save the oceans for future generations and SEA PR pledge to play a part in spreading the message!

A new campaign in Brighton and Hove is seeing local organisations pledging towards reducing the amount of single-use plastics they use, more than 55 businesses have already signed up to show their support alongside Small Batch, the BA i360, and The Tempest.

With public awareness and participation steadily increasing for this cause, the government have pledged to make us a ‘cleaner, greener Britain’. In recent news, Prime Minister Theresa May has taken the opportunity to make Britain a global leader in environmental protection, releasing a 25-year plan to curb plastic waste.

Theresa May said “In years to come, I think people will be shocked at how today we allow so much plastic to be produced needlessly. In the UK alone, the amount of single-use plastic wasted every year would fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls”.

The plan states that the government will intervene at every stage of plastic production and consumption; probing manufacturers to take more responsibility.

May also encouraged supermarkets to shift towards ‘plastic-free’ aisles, like giant retailer Iceland already vowed to do this week. Iceland aim to eliminate all plastic packaging of all own brand products by 2023, using paper and pulp trays instead which will be recyclable through domestic waste and in-store facilities.

Broadcaster Sky are also on board, launching mini-videos about the state of the oceans and stating they will eliminate all single-use plastics from their operations by 2020!

Jeremy Darroch, CEO of Sky, said “Sky Ocean Rescue will continue to highlight and tackle the damage caused by single-use plastics, and we hope this if the start of a concerted effort by the UK government to take a stand with businesses and help save our oceans.”

Caroline Lucas, local MP, has always been championing to protect the natural world. In the 2017 election she questioned why there was an absence in environmental policies in other parties, and with the new plan provided by the government, we are finally making progress.

She comments that the plan lacks immediacy and is simply unambitious. To be truly green, she says implementing a bottle deposit scheme immediately, alongside other suggestions, would show that Theresa May is committed and wants to make a change.

Caroline Lucas said, “These policies would only be the start, but they would signal a serious intention by the Government to get a handle on the environmental crisis.

Avoiding the worst effects of environmental breakdown is still possible. But, it requires serious leadership from countries like Britain. In recent weeks the Government has gone from scoring about 2/10 on environmental protection to maybe a 5/10 – leaving quite some room for improvement”.

SEA PR LOGO for ADSEA PR are based along the south coast and provide PR with a conscience. Due to our location, company name, and community focus, it only seems obvious for us to act upon saving our seas and making our beaches beautiful again.

Tracey Allen, MD of SEA PR, said, “We’re aware that we won’t change the world by ourselves, but we will certainly play our part! At SEA PR we believe that everyone should have a voice, and we’ll use ours to share stories about campaigns on our social platforms to inspire others; we’ll also get involved by participating in beach cleans and by following a few simple steps that you can follow too!”.

Here are a few things that you can join us in doing, at the SEA PR and Giving Times office, to put a stop to what is potentially the most dangerous environmental concern for our generation.

Let’s help human kind be just that, a little bit kinder.

• Say no to disposable coffee cups: Statistics release that in the UK alone, we dispose of around 7 million coffee cups a day. Some coffee shops (Starbucks, Costa, Pret and many more) offer discount if you bring your reusable cup for your take-out coffee.

• Say no to plastic bags: As well as helping the environment you can save some money by avoiding the 5p bag charge.

Say no to plastic straws: Say no to plastic straws and invest in some environmentally friendly ones for your home. Wagamama have pledged to replace plastic straws with paper straws in their restaurants from April 2018.

Say no to plastic water bottles: Plastic water bottles take up to 250 years to biodegrade. The first plastic water bottle was used in 1947, meaning that it won’t be ‘gone’ until 2397.

Say no to microbeads: Microbeads are the tiny bits of plastic often found in face and body scrubs, these end up in the sea, killing marine life. Invest in natural exfoliates instead; or use brands that have pledged not to use microbeads in their own products, (Asda, Avon, the Bodyshop, Boots and L’Oreal).

Get involved a beach clean: You can join your local beach clean and organise your own event here, or get involved with the sea life centres beach cleans. Make sure to document your efforts on social media using #2minutebeachclean, a campaign founded by beachclean.net.

There are many more changes you can make to your everyday life, these are just a few stepping stones that we will use to get our team started.

Let us know what your organisation is doing, and we will share it with everyone else.

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