2017 Plastic Challenge most successful yet

Marine Conservation Society says its 2017 Plastic Challenge has been the most successful yet and shows there is a growing understanding of the effect plastic pollution is having on our oceans.
The charity has run a Plastic Challenge for the last three years – challenging the public to give up single use plastic during June. Last year just over 1,000 people took part, but this year 5,035 registered to give up using single use plastic which includes food packaged in plastic, plastic water bottles, plastic milk bottles, shower gels, toothpaste and pasta.
“This is a really tough challenge,” says MCS waste expert, Dr Sue Kinsey. “It is not until you come to do it that you realise just how reliant we are on plastic that gets used once and is then thrown away. The support we have had this year has been amazing and we know, from the comments we have received on social media, that this is the start of a lifestyle change for many.”
In 2016 The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reported that every year about 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans – that is roughly one rubbish truck being tipped into the oceans every minute. The Foundation also stated that by 2025 there would be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish and by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium recently calculated people who eat seafood ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year.
The Plastic Challenge community has shared all sorts of tips during the month via the MCS website and social media feeds. From getting toilet rolls wrapped in paper delivered, baking their own bread, ditching plastic drinking straws and clingfilm, going back to using bicarb for cleaning and choosing glass milk bottle deliveries.
MCS hope that the 2018 Plastic Challenge will get nearer 10,000 people taking part as more and more members of the public understand the terrible price the oceans are paying for our plastic society.
Challengers can sign up for the 2018 Plastic Challenge at www.mcsuk.org/plasticchallenge
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