Renewed appeal for plastic charge

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) says it’s renewing its call for levies on single-use plastic items because the Prime Minister’s pledge to tackle litter in the Government’s environment 25 Year Plan failed to deliver what’s really needed to start solving the plastic litter issue.

Although the report contains some notable positive commitments to tackle plastic pollution, MCS said it fails to commit quickly enough on items that are handed over, free of charge, in their millions when we’re shopping, eating and drinking out and about.

MCS says charges must be imposed on items such as straws, cups, lids, stirrers and cutlery.

MCS has commissioned a set of images that demonstrate the issue in a simple but graphic way – “Would you care more if it was you?”

According to Luca Bonaccorsi, Director of Engagement and Communications at MCS: “Humans can be very selfish and self-centred. With these images, we are trying to bring the issue “closer to home”. Simulating ourselves in the same situation as turtles and whales and seabirds, we hope people will “feel” some of the pain and act accordingly.”

“The Governments of the UK are finally realising that action needs to be taken to stop plastic litter. Acknowledging the issue is not enough. We must act. WE MUST STOP THE PLASTIC TIDE!”.

The campaign was created by Daughter, an independent creative agency based in Leamington Spa, and photographed by Guy Farrow. It responds to the number of media reports, and films and images shared on social media that show the suffering caused to marine wildlife such as turtles and seabirds.

In the Great British Beach Clean 2017, the UK’s largest and most influential beach clean up and survey run by MCS, almost 7,000 volunteer beach cleaners picked up record amounts of litter from 339 UK beaches – on average, a staggering 718 bits of rubbish from every 100 metres cleaned.

Litter classed by MCS as ‘on the go’ items made up 20% of all litter found on the UK’s beaches between the 15th and 18th September 2017.

“The 5p single-use carrier bag charge has made a massive difference to the number of plastic bags entering our seas. If a charge was placed on single-use plastic such as straws, stirrers, cutlery, cups and cup lids, we’re confident that we’d find fewer of these items on our beaches,” concluded Luca Bonaccorsi.

MCS’s appeal is at: www.mcsuk.org/stop-the-plastic-tide

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