Group brings issue to the UK government
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 September, 2017 - Surfers Against Sewage have been working tirelessly to keep plastic out of the ocean and off of UK beaches. Their latest efforts with 10 Downing Street are chronicled in the below blog.
Following the submission of the petition, we convened a meeting in 10 Downing Street to discuss the growing economic and environmental evidence to introduce a comprehensive deposit return system on bottles and cans, and the massive public support to do so. We were very encouraged by the discussion, which reflected on the important leverage the scale of the Message in a Bottle petition, will have in relation to imminent government policy decisions on the issue of plastic bottles polluting our environment. We’d like to thank everyone who signed, shared and supported the petition. We were honoured to take your voice to Downing Street to help create the change we want to see to protect our oceans and beaches from the growing tide of plastic pollution.
The harmful impacts from plastic pollution can continue to damage the oceans for hundreds of years. A third of fish currently caught in the UK have plastics in their guts and the average UK seafood eater consumes 11,000 plastic particles annually. Strong and effective action to protect our oceans from plastic pollution is urgently needed and the introduction of a deposit return system would prevent an estimated 4 million plastic bottles from entering the oceans every week in the UK.
There is growing cross-party support within our Protect Our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group, with many members championing deposit returns and challenging the government to adopt this system as soon as possible. Secretary of State for the Environment, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, recently described deposit return systems as “a great idea”, saying he’d like to see one introduced “as soon as possible”
The delivery of the petition comes on the back of the recent announcement that Scotland is now committed to introducing a deposit return scheme. The First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, confirmed the commitment while unveiling her new programme for government, which sets out how the country will be run for the next 12 months.