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February 09, 2017, 03:34 PM

Royal support to reduce plastic waste

By Shirley Kay

Beach plastic rubbish Salvo

London East, UK - Sky News reports that we are sleep walking into an environmental catastrophe and the ocean is being turned into a synthetic soup. The Sky report states that, worldwide we are dumping as much as one rubbish truck of trash into the water every minute and it is not just a concern for the environment we live in but also ends up on our plate. Eighty percent of the plastic has travelled down rivers into the sea from the land and consists of everyday products we all use such as plastic bottles and cups.

The time has come to act and Sky together with support from HRH The Prince of Wales has started a campaign to educate the public on how they can help. He gave a personal interview to Sky News from Clarence House and states : "I also find it sobering to think that almost all the plastic ever produced is still here somewhere, on the planet in one form or another, and will remain here for centuries to come - possibly thousands of years."

Prince Charles has long been a supporter of environmental issues and actively campaigns to increase awareness. These issues include organic food production, climate change and the sustainable wool campaign. In 2010, he even set up his own International Sustainability Unit to help facilitate discussion between governments, businesses and key individuals. Meetings are now being held with companies and the charity to try and help reduce the amount of plastic and to ensure that less ends up in the sea and on beaches.

The beach plastic clean up is being helped with volunteer support and organisations like Terracycle; who will partner with beach clean-up organisations to keep beaches free from plastics. The service is completely free and they liase on the best way to send them the collected plastic waste.

We can all help by using less plastic ourselves. and recylcing those items we do use responsibly.
Think before you use a plastic. Reduce the use of water bottles, cotton buds, straws, cups and check for micro beads in products like scrubs and gels. Action is being taken to ban micro beads but probably not until the end of 2017.

Another way to help is to reuse and recycle the plastic we do use responsibly. The plastic bag charge has helped enormously and a similar charge could work for coffee cups. We use over more than 8m a day in the UK alone. Coffee cups are a mix of plastic and paper so even harder to recycle and are anyway often discarded after just a single use. Although, Simply Cups is a recycling company that will take on the challenge to recycle drinking cups. Plastic water bottles are often single use and can even be a health risk if refilled. The cause of a few stomach upsets. Countries like Sweden, Belgium and Germany have the choice of deposit return vending machines for plastic bottles.

However Salvo from experience in building materials would always recommend reduce, reuse and then recycle, as the best option. There are many reusable options on the market for cold or hot drinks for example why not carry your own reusable bottle, travel cup or flask or keep a real china mug in your workplace to take to your favourite coffee shop for a refill.

If you are still not convinced of the importance of reducing plastic waste then watch the Sky News special report, a Plastic Tale. It is a tale of horror to see the effect on beaches, sea life and our own bodies.

Sky News: Prince Charles' hopes for Sky Ocean Rescue campaign
Terracycle: Beach Plastic Recycling Programme

Story Type:  News

ID: 98857

Date Modified: February 10, 2017, 08:28 PM

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