Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall take part in plastics awareness
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 20 July, 2015 - The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be taking part in an Ocean Plastics Awareness Day on Fistral Beach, Newquay on the 22nd July. Their Royal Highnesses will see first-hand how community action in the county of Cornwall is bringing together many thousands of people to help combat the menace of marine plastic litter.
The Ocean Plastics Awareness Day gives NGOs, local and national government and industry an opportunity to commit to exploring and delivering pilot schemes to prevent the flow of plastics to local beaches and reuse plastic waste removed by local cleansing activities. Extending these schemes and some further simple actions could help dramatically reduce the amount of litter across Cornwall’s beaches, countryside, towns and villages.
The event will also see the launch of a Statement of Intent signed by participating NGOs, local government, academia and businesses to explore, develop and deliver innovative circular economy pilot projects. A circular economy is one that sees waste as a valuable resource rather than a burden.
The royal couple will be hosted by Surfers Against Sewage, the Marine Conservation Society and Clean Cornwall, who, collectively, have enlisted the support of well over 30,000 people to clean up beaches around the UK in the past year. Organisations, communities and businesses involved in beach clean ups, plastic waste research and developing solutions to reduce litter at source will share their experiences and ideas with Their Royal Highnesses at the beach.
HRH The Prince of Wales has long taken an interest in the health of the marine environment and the need to address waste. The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit has attempted to integrate conversations on marine plastic waste with those focusing on the circular economy at a global level. The activities taking place in Cornwall showcase what can be done to address waste locally.
Cornwall has some of the most beautiful beaches and countryside in the UK. However, all too often these are blighted by litter, much of which is plastic. There are already some great examples of recycling and recovery projects in Cornwall that contribute to the circular economy, such as the Kimo Fishing for Litter scheme, fishing net recycling projects and the Finisterre bottles to clothing initiative. Used as models of best practice, these and other schemes, showcased on Ocean Plastics Awareness Day, could then be rolled out in other parts of the country.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage Chief Executive says “Surfers Against Sewage campaigns tirelessly to protect beaches around the UK from the growing threat of plastic marine litter. Cornwall has some of the most impressive coastline in the UK, with award winning beaches, unique marine habitats and many sites of special surfing interest, which are now the focus of the growing community effort to tackle marine litter. Annually, Surfers Against Sewage not only works with over 15,000 grassroots volunteers to remove plastic waste from the beach, but is also collaborating with pioneering projects to use waste plastics as a key resource in producing new products, from skateboards to carpet tiles. We are delighted to be part of a collective shift towards a circular economy to protect Cornwall’s beaches from plastics, which should be seen as a valuable resource rather than unwanted waste that society can simply discard.”
Sam Fanshawe, MCS Chief Executive says “For over two decades, Marine Conservation Society volunteers have recorded a rising tide of rubbish - with plastic litter rising by over 180% since we began surveys in 1994. There is a huge collective effort in Cornwall to reduce litter and keep Cornwall’s world-class beaches clean. We want to work with businesses, government and community groups to come up with innovative solutions to this unnecessary, unsightly and harmful waste. As President of the Marine Conservation Society, HRH The Prince of Wales has shown unstinting support for the volunteer effort to clean up our seas and beaches and encourage industry sectors to support a circular economy.”