Every year, we run a plastic-free day to celebrate our coastlines, waterways and oceans and learn how we can protect them from plastic pollution. This year, we are once again asking schools, businesses, community groups and individuals to join us in a day of refusing single-use plastic – this year on the 5th May 2023! Many of you will have seen coverage over the last few years of the dreadful levels of plastic pollution in our oceans, which is harming wildlife and even getting into our own food chain.
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Why take part?
In the UK alone, we use an estimated 35 million single-use plastic bottles, 7 million disposable coffee cups with their plastic lids and lining, 8.5 million plastic straws and around 16 million packets of crisps EVERY DAY! Only 9% of the plastic waste that we humans have created has been recycled, and around 8 million tonnes of it enters the oceans every year, from littering, dumping and mishandling, and can hang around for hundreds of years.
We are asking everyone who may normally have a packed lunch at school or work to come in with no single-use plastic packaging in their lunch box – so no disposable bottles, crisp packets etc. Sandwiches and other lunch box contents could be wrapped in tin foil or come in a container (plastic such as Tupperware is reusable and is acceptable!). Reusable items are ideal – bottles, coffee cups, food boxes etc.
We hope that taking part in this day will help us all to learn about how we can reduce the amount of plastic pollution endangering our wildlife and environment, and to be extra vigilant about littering and choosing to avoid single-use plastic wherever possible. It is a day of making changes to our habits that hopefully will lead to more days of being aware of how simple switches to more environmentally friendly options can make a difference.