Emily, you recently joined us as our new Plastic Free Coastlines Project Officer, tell us about your journey to getting the job.
I first heard about SAS when I read an interview with Hugo in Wavelength magazine. I had to do a placement as part of my Environmental Science degree, so I got in touch with SAS and worked last summer on the Beach Clean Boxes project and on Marine Litter Monitoring which inspired my masters project on marine plastic pollution. I then became a Regional Rep for a year, before getting this job recently!
What does your job involve at SAS?
I’m the first point of contact for people to sign up to work towards Plastic Free Coastlines through reducing their personal single use plastic consumption. I’m also managing our 60 new Community Leaders who are really driven to initiate Plastic Free changes in their local areas.
Can you tell us more about becoming a Plastic Free Coastlines Community Leader?
It’s a commitment to leading your community through 5 stages to being granted a Plastic Free Coastlines status. You have to: get support from your local town council, approach businesses to reduce their single use plastics, get some community organisastions and schools on board, run a beach clean and a fundraising event and form a steering group to help support your work.
Why is SAS running this project?
The overall aim is to create a single use Plastic Free UK! But in the shorter term, we’re hoping to inspire 150 Community Leaders to get involved, they don’t have to be on the coastline, inland towns, cities and villages can go plastic free too – it all leads to the sea eventually! It’s a long term campaign but one where if everyone comes together, it will be achievable.
What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
Finding my way to work! (I’m living in the middle of nowhere!) The biggest challenge of the project is keeping up with all the communications with everyone who is interested, which is a good problem to have!
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
The team! It’s like being part of a big family and everyone has been really supportive. And the office dogs!