At the 7 February Marine Litter event in London organised by the British Plastics Federation (BPF), experts and entrepreneurs in marine litter, waste management, education, communication, behavioural change, and packaging design came together and pledged to work collaboratively to find solutions to the marine litter problem.
The audience included representatives from leading retailers, brands, plastic companies, policy advisors and will lead to a coordinated plan to drastically reduce land-based litter finding its way into the marine environment, as well as a reduction in waste.
Presentations ranged from statistics on the origins of plastic waste, to practical solutions in the UK and in the developing world.
Gavin Ellis, Hubbub and Tracy Phipps, Brighton and Hove City Council, co-presented the #StreetsAhead campaign which was launched to clean up litter in Brighton and Hove. Lee Wray-Davies, Keep Britain Tidy introduced the room to the world’s largest education initiative “Eco Schools” in which children develop creative local approaches to tackle waste.
David Katz, founder of The Plastic Bank and Zoë Lenkiewicz, of Waste Aid spoke separately about their work with local communities to help re-purpose plastic litter in the developing world, while Professor Richard Thompson, University of Plymouth, an expert on marine litter firmly hit the nail on the head with his statement that “It is not the materials that are the problem, but how we choose to use them.”