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Could you go a month without using plastic?

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On July 1st the Marine Conservation Society (MCS)'s annual ‘Plastic Challenge’ began. This year several celebrities, concerned about the effect of plastic on our environment, are getting involved. This national campaign hopes to get the public to sign up to avoid single-use plastic as much as possible during July.

Photo of Plastic Bottles

Image Credit: Magda Ehlers via Pexels

As a nation we are seriously attached to our plastic habit. As a versatile and flexible product, plastic now accounts for eight million tonnes  of waste being dumped into our oceans each year. Additionally, 50% of plastic is used just once and thrown away

As Deborah Meaden, entrepreneur and dragon on BBC2’s Dragons' Den, says: “I’m really concerned about the excessive packaging that you find in supermarkets and I’ll be going all out to face the Plastic Challenge head on. I know I won’t be able to eradicate all single-use plastic out of my life, but I’ll be giving it a damn good try. I’d urge everyone to give it a go. We must act now.”  

According to The Globalist, Today, an average person living in North America and Western Europe consumes 220 pounds or 100 kilograms of plastic each year, mostly in the form of packaging. With these figures, just one person taking on the challenge will have a huge impact.

Sharron Davies MBE, World, European, Commonwealth and Olympic swimmer and sports broadcaster, says: “Water has played a huge part in my life but it breaks my heart to see how we are abusing our seas and oceans. As a mum to a teenager, I know the Plastic Challenge will be tough, because like so many people I often opt for convenience and that generally comes in single-use plastic. But I’m determined to give it my best shot.”

Plastic Ocean

Image Credit: Kevin Krejci via Wikimedia Commons 

The Marine Conservation Trust  is the UK’s leading marine charity. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas. It works to ensure that UK waters get the protection they deserve. So far over 6,000 people have pledged war on plastic and the trust hopes that by the end of the month many more will have signed up. 

Ben Garrod, Professor of Evolutionary Biology and an author and TV presenter, says: “For giving us so much, we should do all we can to ensure our seas continue to flourish."

"I’m taking on the Plastic Challenge to show that it is possible to make an impact on our single-use plastic lives. I travel a lot so I know it’s going to be hard, but I’ll be tweeting about my experiences and I hope it’ll help others on the same journey.”       

MCS kicked off the 2019 Plastic Challenge at three events in zero waste shops in England, Wales and Scotland on Saturday, 29th June. Challengers were given spinach seeds so they can start growing the leafy green veg, generally only sold in plastic bags at most supermarkets.

It won’t be easy, but every choice made not to use plastic is a victory for our oceans. Will you be part of the wave of change and sign up for the MCS Plastic Challenge today?  

To take part in the MCS Plastic Challenge, simply register at www.mcsuk.org/plastic-challenge

Lead Image Credit: stux via pixabay




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