SAS Urges Faster Government Action on Plastic Pollution

The Prime Minister must take bold and decisive steps to break industry and societal addiction to single-use plastics. Outlawing non-recyclable plastics and making industry take full responsibility for their plastic waste is essential to this. The extension of the plastic bag levy, the microbead ban and a UK-wide deposit refund system are proven ways to reduce society’s plastic footprint that is trampling our natural world.

Our oceans have brought the plastic pollution crisis to millions of people across the UK’s coastlines, with the recent storms that battered the UK again demonstrating the huge scale of the issue and how it affects us here in Britain. Our beaches have been inundated with vast deposits of throwaway plastics, creating a toxic tideline of plastic products that society often uses for just a few seconds yet persist in our marine environment for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  Plastic pollution has spread into every corner of our world, a parasite hitching a lift on the essential fluids of life; our air and water.

In the UK we use a staggering 38.5 million single-use plastic bottles and a further 58 million cans every day. Only half of these are recycled, so it’s no surprise that many of these end up on our beaches and in our oceans. Surfers Against Sewage has been at the forefront of calling for a UK-wide deposit refund system on plastic bottles to stop this source of plastic pollution, recently delivering a petition over 300,000 signatures supporting this call to the Prime Minister.

The time for action is now and we urge the government not to kick the proverbial plastic bottle down the street, but implement new policies and legislation that the country is crying out for to finally go plastic free. We must reinvent our relationship with single-use plastic to eliminate, replace and recycle plastics faster and more effectively. Plastic production is already rampant and is also set to increase massively in the next 25 years. We need new legislation and systems to stop plastic at source now. We can’t simply pick our way out of the problem; it’s gone far beyond being simply a littering issue.

Surfers Against Sewage is already working with tens of thousands of volunteers around the UK to tackle the plastic tide encroaching on our beaches. We are also inspiring and equipping communities to go ‘plastic-free’, with hundreds of locations working towards Plastic Free Coastlines with us by eliminating throwaway plastics such as straws, plastic water bottles, bags, cutlery and finding more sustainable alternatives. From grassroots to Government, the time to act is now.

Hugo Tagholm, CEO, Surfers Against Sewage

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