Surfers Against Sewage Interview - Part 2
We're back with the team at Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), a Cornish based charity, who are leading the fight against plastic waste in our waterways and beaches. This is the second half of a two part interview, where we delve into the reality that is facing our coastlines, alongside inspiring changes that we can make to reduce our single use plastic consumption in our every day lives.
"The problems facing our marine environment are serious, plastic pollution, climate change, sewage, habitat destruction and more, some of the stats such as '8,000,000 pieces of plastic pollution find their way into the ocean every day' are incredibly shocking, but we believe there is hope."
What changes can we make at home to reduce our plastic consumption?
Anyone and everyone can get involved to be the resistance our oceans need. It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are or whether you live by the coast or not. There are contributions you can make that will make a difference. Everyone has a role to play! It’s about starting with small changes for example buy a reusable water bottle or coffee cup for drinks on the go so you don’t have to buy bottled water or use any single-use coffee cups. Invest in a reusable shopping bag instead of using plastic ones. When you go out, ask the person behind the bar not to put a plastic straw or stirrer in your drink.
For more tips on how to reduce your single-use plastic consumption, go to our website and sign up for your free action plan.
What changes would you like to see to prevent plastic pollution?
We’re creating the Plastic Free Community network to unite communities in the fight against single-use plastics. It’s not about removing all plastic from our lives. It’s about kicking our addiction to avoidable single-use plastic. Be we don’t want to stop there, we want to challenge the businesses that create single-use plastics and change the systems producing it.
Right now, we are urging the Government to reduce the amount of pointless plastic being manufactured, sold and used and to implement an ‘all-in’ deposit return scheme (DRS) for plastic drinks bottles. A consultation launched on the 18th February 2019 shows the Government is considering the option of limiting the scheme to small bottles and we want to urge Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove MP, not to let this happen as research suggests that the most effective deposit return systems globally are the most inclusive – covering all sizes of beverage containers. Read more here.
What is the reality facing the environment and our coastlines?
The problems facing our marine environment are serious, plastic pollution, climate change, sewage, habitat destruction and more, some of the stats such as “8,000,000 pieces of plastic pollution find their way into the ocean every day” are incredibly shocking, but we believe there is hope. This year – unlike any other in recent memory – the UK will be rewriting the rules that protect our beaches and the sea.
A new Environment Bill is planned, and it’s a once-in-a-generation new law that could be a ray of hope for our oceans. The new Environment Bill could set strong, binding targets to reduce plastic pollution, increase protected areas and tackle climate change. But there’s also a risk the Bill could end up weak and toothless, unless we put up a fight. We believe we can build a powerful movement together which shows politicians that the sea is not out of sight or mind when new laws are being set, or new business deals being made.
SAS was chosen as one of the charities to benefit from donations made for Harry and Meghan’s wedding, how has this changed things for you?
We were delighted to have been selected as one of seven charities to benefit from the donations marking the Royal Wedding. It was something really special to be honoured by the couple and it really gave us the royal seal of approval! Being able to broadcast our message to over a billion people worldwide has allowed us to reach more people than ever before with our environmental advocacy and volunteering initiatives, which is great news for the marine environment!