Schools and businesses in the local area and as far away as Scotland will be taking part in a ‘Plastic-Free Day’ this 8th May, coordinated by the Final Straw Solent. The day celebrates the 93rd birthday of Sir David Attenborough, a leading figure in the raising the profile of the threat plastic has on the environment.
The Final Straw Solent is providing schools with free resources to run assemblies and activities that highlight the impact of plastic pollution on our seas, environment and wildlife. People will be asked to avoid single-use plastic for the day. To date, over 80 schools have signed up to take part in the day, which means that around 30,000 children will be spending the day learning about plastic pollution in relation to ocean health. They will also be finding out how they can each do their bit to help combat plastic pollution and in doing so help protect wildlife and our environment.
Schools are participating in the day in lots of different ways. Some are holding litter picks around their school grounds and in their local areas, holding art-from-plastic-waste exhibitions, writing letters to their local MPs and councils and even having competitions to see who can reduce the weight of waste plastic from lunchboxes over the course of a term between classes. The Final Straw Solent are also donating copies of the Wild Tribe Heroes books to the first 50 schools that registered for the day, to use in school on the day and to keep for future use. The books are a collection of gentle and engaging true stories about animals that find themselves in trouble when their lives are affected by plastic in the oceans.
Bianca Carr, Final Straw Solent Director, said: “Hopefully this one plastic-free day will lead to more changes in behaviour, with more people choosing to make environmentally sensitive shopping choices and avoid single-use plastic wherever they can in the future.”
Co-Director Lissie Pollard added: “Businesses are also getting involved in the day by asking staff to avoid single-use plastic for the day. Anyone that wants to get involved should visit our website, www.finalstrawsolent.org, where you can download more information and resources.
‘“We wrote to Sir David Attenborough to let him know about the day, and he replied, quite simply, “Good luck with all your efforts to get rid of single-use plastic. We managed without it once. Why not again?”’
We are encouraging all local businesses to get in touch with us to see how they can join the campaign, reducing their single-use plastic consumption all along the Solent area.
Here are four easy steps that everyone can take:
REFUSE PLASTIC STRAWS
Most people do not need a straw, and if you do then why not use a paper, wheat or bamboo straw or reusable metal one. If you are offered a straw in a cafe, bar or restaurant, just say ‘no thanks!’
USE REUSABLE BAGS
Plastic bags are not very strong anyway and can get blown into the countryside, waterways or the sea so easily. There are loads of interesting, cool, fun or pretty reusable fabric shopping bags around, so why not take one of those with you every time you go shopping, rather than asking for a plastic one?
USE REUSEABLE WATER BOTTLES
Single-use plastic bottles are expensive to produce, use up valuable natural resources to make and transport and create mountains and mountains of waste once we’ve gulped down the contents. And recycling’s not the answer either, here in the UK an estimated 800 plastic bottles a MINUTE are either ending up in landfill or as litter, which will too often make its way into our waterways and out to sea. We can all help with this by purchasing a re-useable water bottle.
INVEST IN A REUSABLE COFFEE CUP
In the UK, we use and dispose of 7 MILLION coffee cups a day. Only 1% are recycled! Get yourself a good reusable cup, if you are a regular ‘take-out coffee’ person it will make a big difference.
Put simply, if it’s plastic or wrapped in plastic, think about viable alternatives. Refuse that straw and any other unnecessary plastic, spread the word and help save our planet!
We hope that people will follow this campaign with earnest and join us for our next organised beach cleans, and that it will have a positive impact on our environment and change peoples’ views on their consumption of single-use plastic.
Please find the Final Straw Solent on all social media networks and at: