Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF) and national marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), have announced a new two year partnership to grow the ‘Plastic Free Communities’ movement across the UK mobilising 100,000 community volunteers together.
The partnership will include the very first national Plastic Free Community Awards recognising incredible achievements in tackling plastic pollution.
Richard Walker, Trustee of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and Managing Director of Iceland Foods said: “Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and Surfers Against Sewage are passionate about tackling the scourge of plastic head on and we know that momentum is building in communities across the UK. Iceland has a presence on high streets up and down the country so it seems only fitting that we should engage at a community level, encouraging individuals and organisations to join us as we move towards fulfilling our own plastics commitment.”
The exciting new partnership will expand our Plastic Free Communities work across coastal, rural and urban areas across the UK as well as support The Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit To Sea in April 2019 and 2020. This will be the first time the clean series has incorporated mountain and street cleans, alongside rivers and beaches.
To recognise individuals and organisations leading the way in the fight against avoidable single-use plastic, the partnership will also see the launch of the UK’s first ever Plastic-Free Community Awards. Taking place in 2019 and 2020, the awards will celebrate individuals, local businesses, artists, schools, campaigners, volunteers and other champions tackling the scourge plastic pollution.
Hugo Tagholm, SAS Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation to expand and celebrate the Plastic Free Communities movement across the UK. Together, we’ll be empowering 100,000 community volunteers to tackle plastic pollution and litter in important local spaces including beaches, coastal paths, mountains, rivers, rural and urban areas. We’ll also be celebrating the achievements of the finest plastic-free pioneers across the UK, with the first ever Plastic-Free Community Awards, which will recognise those most committed to the fight for a plastic-free future.”
The partnership follows Iceland’s commitment at the beginning of 2018 to be the first retailer globally to commit to removing plastic from all own label food products by the end of 2023.
The announcement of the partnership was made at the screening at Kendal Mountain Festival of a short film made by Richard Walker and mountaineer and adventurer Kenton Cool.
Mountaineer and explorer Kenton Cool said: “The outdoor community has truly acted as a great catalyst for change. If we don’t take action against plastics now, it will be too late and I’m excited the see this new partnership further mobilise communities to make a difference in their local area.”
At the Festival Iceland and SAS hosted a panel debate on plastics hosted by presenter and environmentalist Lucy Siegle.
Iceland and SAS previously partnered earlier this year to launch Bread Board beer, a pale ale made from Iceland’s unsold bread. Iceland donates 10p from each bottle sold to the charity to help fund UK beach cleans and other initiatives that champion the reduction of avoidable single use plastic consumption.