About

What is Wasteland?

Wasteland is a Surfers Against Sewage campaign that brings to life our concerns about the amount of plastic in the marine environment.

Wasteland is a metaphor for the largest concentration of ocean plastic in the world, the North Pacific Gyre where it has been found that there is more plastic than plankton. We are conceptualising it as a new country that is fuelled by single use plastics in the ocean and will take over the world if we don’t do something about it.

What is the problem with plastic in our oceans?

For wildlife, it can be deadly. Plastic can entangle, injure and drown animals; it can also be mistaken for food and starve animals to death by blocking their digestive systems.

For us humans, it’s not looking good either. At risk are our wild spaces and oxygen supply as well as our health. The chemicals that plastics leach and absorb in seawater have been linked to endocrine disruption and some cancers and with 1 in 3 fish caught for human consumption now containing plastic, it’s no longer a question of if there is plastic in our seafood, but how bad exactly that is for us.

Read more about Plastic Pollution

What can we do about it?

You can sign up to receive your free Individual Action Plan for reducing your plastic use, share the campaign and chip in a few pounds to help support the project.

We are tackling the issue of plastics in the ocean at every level, from asking individuals to reduce their plastic consumption to lobbying government for changes to legislation and we can’t do it without you!

It’s impossible to get the existing 269,000 tonnes of plastic out of the ocean, but together we can stop putting more in.

Plastic Free Coastlines logo Plastic Free Coastlines icons

What is Plastic Free Coastlines?

Plastic Free Coastlines is our positive response to Wasteland and it’s a two tiered approach:

We are going to fight the threat of Wasteland by asking thousands of people to sign up and download their Individual Action Plans to reducing their plastic use.

We’re also looking for Community Leaders to take their towns to the next level. We are hoping to establish 125 Plastic Free Communities by 2020 where, similar to the Fairtrade movement, there are guidelines that each town will follow to be granted a Plastic Free Community status.

Row of plastic bottles

How do we create a Plastic Free Community?

We want to inspire volunteer Community Leaders to take action in local communities. By following our detailed Plastic Free Coastlines: Community Toolkit, you will be guided through each step of setting up a Plastic Free Community. There are five straight-forward steps to getting the Plastic Free Community approved and we’ll help you every step of the way.

You’ll be setting up a steering group to help support your mission and getting local businesses and organisations on board and encouraging them to reduce their plastic use and find more sustainable alternatives.

You’ll also run a beach clean to get everyone involved and inspire the local community to make changes by seeing the impact our everyday habits has on the coastline.

I’m interested in becoming a Plastic Free Community Leader…

Awesome! Our Plastic Free team will be delighted to help support you through every step of the process.

It will be an amazing achievement to be the leader behind one of the first ever Plastic Free Communities in the UK! Whether you live in a small village or a big city, there’s a guide for you.

Find out more and get in touch