According to Plastic Oceans UK, we manufacture over 300 million tonnes of plastic every single year. That is the equivalent to the weight of the entire adult population of the planet.
On Saturday 8th June, Rotary clubs and groups across Great Britain and Ireland are being encouraged to take action and host local events as part of a Rotary GBI mass beach and river clean day.
Steve Martin, District Governor for North and Mid Wales, South Lancashire, Merseyside and Cheshire, explained why Rotary is perfectly placed to make a difference.
“Many clubs are becoming more and more aware of the plastic that is ending up in our seas and rivers, causing so much damage to our environment and wildlife.
“We know that lots of clubs do community litter picks and beach clean exercises and they are a really good way of sharing useful time together.
“My thoughts, and the thoughts of my fellow District Governors, is why don’t we do something together?
“If we can mobilise clubs on one day and get them all to arrange a beach or river clean or a litter pick in their communities it will show people Rotary’s commitment to the environment.
“It is also a great opportunity to get our RotaKids, Interact and Rotaract clubs involved as we know that young people are incredibly passionate about this cause.
“Clubs are already contacting me and telling me of other environmental groups they are teaming up with and they are recruiting members of their community to help.”
Even if your community is not based on the coast or near a river, a great deal of natural and open spaces are blighted by the plastic problem, as well as parks, town centres and residential areas.
Why not have a think about how you and your community can make a difference on 8th June, no matter how big or small!
Please remember to seek expert advice where necessary on the correct steps to take once little has been collected.
Please let the Rotary GBI Communications Department know of any events you are hosting as part of the mass beach and river clean day.
If you’d like further advice, please contact Steve Martin.
Facts about plastics
According to Plastic Oceans UK:
- We manufacture over 300 million tonnes of plastic a year – that is the equivalent to the weight of the entire adult population of the planet. Around half of what is produced is single-use plastic.
- Around 8-12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, which can cause entanglement, ingestion by marine wildlife and habitat destruction.
- Over 50 species of seabirds have been recorded to become snared in plastic, either after mistaking it for food, or accidentally swimming into it.
- It is estimated that 75% of seabirds in the world have ingested plastic at some time and that figure is only likely to increase.
According to Surfers Against Sewage:
- Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.
- There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean.
- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually.