Why I remain hopeful about plastic pollution
I often get asked the question: “Do you remain hopeful about the plastic pollution crisis?”
And the answer is - YES!
We know that it is a global problem, with unthinkable consequences it not halted in its tracks. We continue to produce, almost a million tonnes of plastic every day, and most of that is not recycled, but left to landfill, or worse, finding its way into the oceans. Up to 90% of seabirds have plastic in their guts, and hundreds of thousands of animals die annually as a direct result of plastic - either from consumption or entanglement. It is a vert overwhelming prospect, and certainly one that we can’t ignore. But we need to continue that concern into positive action.
Over the course of the last five years that I’ve been campaigning against plastic pollution, I’ve seen a huge shift in the perception and action taken against the plastic pandemic. It’s no longer a case of pointing out the problem to people: People from all walks of life, across all community groups within the UK are actively looking for a way that they can play a role in the solution.
The length of the UK I’ve see groups conducting beach cleans come rain or shine, individuals dedicated to refilling their water bottles rather than buying plastic ones, companies refusing to give out plastic packaging, and campaigns run by school children changing policy and creating positive action.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Aside from what individuals can do, or individual companies, there is also legislation being put into place, and innovation happening to change the way we create and dispose of packaging. This is the next step in the campaign’s evolution.
The way we think about plastic has changed, and is continuing to change. There is a long way left to go on this journey, and the path will no doubt continue to twist, turn and evolve, but change is happening, in fact, it’s snowballing.
I urge you not to lose hope, not to stop, to continue to campaign for what you believe in, and do what YOU can to protect what you love. Each person’s contribution is going to be different, but all are so important. Stay focussed on the solutions and stay positive, because afterall:
“The Greatest Threat to Our Planet Is the Belief That Someone Else Will Save It” - Robert Swan OBE