With more plastic than fish (by weight) in our seas predicted to be a possibility by 2050, our reliance on plastic in all its forms is clear.
With the nightmare that plastic pollution is creating in our oceans now high on political, personal and news agendas, the Marine Conservation Society is once again throwing down the gauntlet to the public to take on its Plastic Challenge.
MCS is asking people to give up single-use plastics for the whole of July.
Simon Reeve, TV presenter and MCS Ocean Ambassador, said: “Our planet is becoming poisoned by plastic. The vast amount in our oceans has become an environmental emergency as a direct result of our throwaway society. That is why I am supporting thousands of people living without single use plastic this July as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge.”
The charity has run the Plastic Challenge for the last four years. More than 1,000 people took part in 2016, and last year over 5,035 registered to give up using single use plastic. That includes food packaged in plastic, plastic water bottles, plastic milk bottles and shower gels.
“This is a challenge that you can make as easy or as hard for yourself as you like,” said Dr. Sue Kinsey MCS Technical Specialist. “But however you choose to do it you will not fail to realise just how reliant on plastic we have become. Some things are really tough to replace however much you want to give up single-use plastic.
Among the things people found hardest to replace were milk containers, dried goods packaged in single use plastic like pasta rice and pulses, loo paper and toothpaste.
MCS says that many people who take on the challenge really do get stuck in.
This year MCS hopes even more people will try and give up single use plastic during July. The BBC’s Blue Planet II brought the issue of plastic pollution in our seas into the UK’s sittings rooms at the back end of last year and this year there’s also more help and advice available than before to help challengers.
MCS has written a book on the living life without plastic: “How To Live Plastic Free – a day in the life of a plastic detox” (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3)
The book takes you through an average day giving tips and practical advice on how to remove unnecessary plastic at every opportunity. From getting up to going to bed you can find out about plastic-free cosmetics, mealtimes, shopping, workplace, pets, sporting and special events.
Last year challengers made their own bread, yogurt, cleaning and bathroom products like mouthwash and sugar scrubs so as not to use plastic containers that are used once and then thrown out.
The Plastic Challenge is once again being sponsored by water filtration company BRITA UK. Becky Widdowson is BRITA UK’s Marketing Director: ”It’s fantastic to be supporting the Plastic Challenge alongside MCS once again. At BRITA UK we believe it is absolutely vital that we step up to protect marine life from the unnecessary damage done by single use plastic bottles and other forms of plastic litter. One or two small changes such as carrying a refillable bottle or a reusable bag or opting out of disposable bottled water when we buy our lunch or go to the gym, could have such an enormous positive impact. Given that 60 per cent of people would be willing to switch from bottled water to more environmentally friendly alternatives it’s clear this can be done.”
Sign up to take part in the Plastic Challenge at: www.mcsuk.org/plastic-challenge
“How To Live Plastic Free – a day in the life of a plastic detox” (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3) is available to buy now. For details visit: www.mcsuk.org/news/MCS-Live-Plastic-Free-Book