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Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

Take up the Plastic Challenge

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Would you like plastic for dinner?

What are you going to do this month?   If you’re looking for something to do that will challenge you and the members of your family, how about seeing how much plastic you can get rid of in your life?

You may have seen the plastic which washed up on the beaches of Henderson Island in the Pacific.  There were an estimated 38 MILLION pieces of rubbish – and most of it was plastic.   Toothbrushes and  cigarette lighters were two of the most numerous items found on the beach.   

However much plastic breaks down, it’s still there.  Seals, dolphins, orcas and turtles – they all eat the plastic in our oceans.   Fish do, too.  So we eat it as well.  Do you fancy plastic for dinner?  What do you think plastic and the toxins that come with it do to our health and wellbeing?  

So why not take up the Plastic Challenge?

The Marine Conservation Society is running its Plastic Challenge this month.  Right from the start, it admits that it’s practically impossible to get rid of every single bit of plastic – but it also points out that you CAN reduce your plastic footprint.

  1. Give up single-use plastic i.e. a plastic bag you use once, a plastic water bottle you use once, plastic straws etc.   Think before you use this stuff – do you really need it? 
  2. Do it for as long as you can.  The Plastic Challenge started on 1 June but never mind that date – start it today, even if you’re reading this way past that date.   They say it takes 21 days to change a habit, so a month is a good length of time to give this a go.  Don’t berate yourself if you slide back to your old ways for a day or so – just get back on track to reduced plastic usage…
  3. Make a note in your diary to join your nearest beach clean if you have one – you can find info here.  Their main Beach Clean event is in September but there are lots of others throughout the year – or why not organise your own?  Their website has information to help you do just that.
  4. Raise money for the Marine Conservation Society as you go and support their work to help marine life – you can sign up for a free fundraising pack to get you started
  5. Be inspired by others who are doing the challenge – Plastic Challengers – and get tips from the plastic community
  6. Use the month to find out more about how plastic is affecting marine life.   
  7. Reduce, reuse and recycle to prevent as much plastic as possible entering the environment. 

People all over the world are working to make a difference and reduce plastic waste on beaches which will end up or come from the sea.   The more we can stop using plastic in any way to begin with, the better. 

Finally, we can urge the UK government to BAN THE PLASTIC BAG completely.   In 2002, the Bangladesh government did this, and Rwanda, China, Taiwan and Macedonia have all done it too.   If they can do it, so can Britain!  

#mcsuk  #plasticchallenge

 

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