Friday, 9 February 2018

Bude in Cornwall leads the fight against plastic pollution

Bude seems to be the centre of action against plastic - following on from events last month:

An eight-year-old boy has made a new friend thousands of miles away after finding a message in a bottle washed up on a Cornish beach. Noah Crooks was helping to clear plastic debris from Storm Eleanor at Stanbury Mouth, near Bude, with his brother and father earlier this month.

His father later emailed the address on the note and soon received a reply from a 10-year-old girl in Canada. Noah said "it was really cool" and he planned to stay in touch with the girl.

Boy finds message in a bottle from Canada washed up in Cornwall - BBC News

And a couple of days later:

A £750,000 scheme to tackle plastic pollution has been launched by the Environment Agency. The project follows the government's pledge on Thursday to eliminate avoidable waste and plastics in the UK by 2042.

The money will pay for a new team to find solutions to plastic pollution problems, particularly single-use plastics, in the South West. A "tidal wave" of plastic struck Cornish beaches after Storm Eleanor. Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, made the announcement from Bude, Cornwall, as she met environmental groups and charities.

£750,000 plastic pollution grant for South West - BBC News

The Environment Secretary has singled out Cornish groups and communities:

We must lead the global community in this fight and Cornwall is once again at the frontline with £750,000 Environment Agency funding for a new, dedicated team to tackle plastic pollution in the South West of England. This pioneering project will see the creation of a new Plastics and Sustainability team across Devon and Cornwall working with business, local councils, charities and community action groups, such as the Bude Cleaner Seas Project, to tackle single use plastics.

Michael Gove praises Cornwall for leading the fight against plastic pollution - Jacqui Merrington - Cornwall Live

And still in Bude:

Campaigner warns the world could see a ‘catastrophic chain of plastic’ if action is not taken

Thursday, 8 February 2018 By The Post in Local People 

Deb Rosser with one of the ReFill Bude reusable cups.

AN ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner from Bude has warned that the world could see a ‘potentially catastrophic chain of plastic’ if action is not taken.

Deb Rosser, from Bude, has expressed her delight in the government’s recent announcement to end the production of microbeads in cosmetic products such as shower gels, face scrubs and tooth pastes, an initiative which has also been welcomed by Conservative MP for North Cornwall, Scott Mann.

Deb, who is the creator of the campaign ReFILL, which started in Bude but has now gone national, has seen first-hand the devastating effects that plastic pollution has on the environment and marine life.

Since she moved to Bude from Essex just under ten years ago, Deb took it upon herself to help keep her local beach at Crooklets tidy, and with the help of Keep Britain Tidy’s BeachCare officer for the South West, Neil Hembrow, a new beach clean group was born — otherwise known as CR*P. This group is now one of the longest serving beach clean groups in the country.

Speaking about the ban on production of microbeads, Deb told the Post: “This is absolutely fantastic. Nobody sees it or realises the effect these tiny pieces of plastic have on the environment. Every day shower gels and toiletry items do contain plastic, which go into the fish and we end up consuming it, so it’s turning into a very vicious cycle. We will end up having a potentially catastrophic chain of plastic if we don’t do something.

“However, I welcome anything and any consultations in regards to tackling this problem. I hope all manufacturers take this on, including supermarkets and retailers across the country. We’ve got to start there, and we do hope that the government puts pressure on these manufacturers.”

Mr Mann, Conservative MP for North Cornwall, has described the ban as ‘one of the toughest in the world’ and has welcomed the initiative. He said: “Microbeads can do great harm to our marine environment and this ban means that manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products will no longer be able to add tiny pieces of plastic to products such as face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels.”

A ban on the sale of products containing microbeads will follow later in the year. These damaging beads can cause serious harm to marine life, but the UK’s ban will help to stop billions of microbeads ending up in the ocean every year.

Alongside the government’s 5p plastic bag charge — which has taken nine billion bags out of circulation — the government said the ‘ban puts the UK at the forefront of international efforts to crack down on plastic pollution’.

Environment Minister, Therese Coffey, said: “The world’s seas and oceans are some of our most valuable assets and I am determined we act now to tackle the plastic that devastates our precious marine life. Microbeads are entirely unnecessary when there are so many natural alternatives available, and I am delighted that cosmetics manufacturers will no longer be able to add this harmful plastic to their rinse-off products. Now we have reached this important milestone, we will explore how we can build on our world-leading ban and tackle other forms of plastic waste.”

Dr Sue Kinsey, senior pollution officer at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “We are delighted that such a robust microbead ban has come into force. This is the strongest and most comprehensive ban to be enacted in the world and will help to stem the flow of micro plastics into our oceans. We believe that this signals a real commitment on the part of this government to clean up our seas and beaches, and hope this is a first step on this road before we see further actions to combat plastic waste.

“(The) announcement comes ahead of the government’s upcoming 25-Year Environment Plan, which will set out how we will be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state that we inherited it and create clean, healthy and productive oceans.”

Avril Sainsbury, from Bude Cleaner Seas Project, was delighted with the news, adding that the initiative is ‘a very positive step in the right direction’. She said: “The ban on microbeads in cosmetics and personal care is good news, and a step in the right direction, but this now needs to be extended to other items such as cleaning products.

“Consumers looking to avoid microbeads in the meantime should avoid products containing polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) and nylon. Look for products that use natural exfoliants such as natural oats, ground almonds, Jojoba beads, salt, dairy, ground coffee, lemons and sugar as a few examples.”

Campaigner warns the world could see a ‘catastrophic chain of plastic’ if action is not taken | News | Bude & Stratton Post

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