Bristol staff see single-use plastic problem first hand as they partner with Marine Conservation Society
The UK’s leading marine charity says it’s delighted that south west eco brand ‘Smidge’ is putting its money where its mouth is by getting staff involved in a beach clean and litter survey to see just how much single-use plastic is impacting our coastline.
Bristol-based ‘Smidge’ has partnered with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and will be making a donation to the charity from every product sold from its new 100% natural collection made from plant materials, which includes coffee cups, plates, bowls and cutlery.
45 Smidge staff visited Sand Bay, near Weston-super-Mare, on June 25th to take part in a beach clean led by MCS staff. They collected 66kgs of litter, equating to a staggering 1,302 items of rubbish along the 100m of beach surveyed – that’s well above the national average. Unsurprisingly, 76% of the litter picked up was made of plastic/polystyrene, highlighting the importance of brands like Smidge working with alternatives.
MCS works to raise awareness of the many threats that face our seas and the most pressing of these is the proliferation of single-use plastic that is found in the oceans and on beaches. During last year’s MCS-led Great British Beach Clean, 601 pieces of litter were picked up for every 100 metres cleaned by the charity’s volunteer litter pickers.
MCS Beachwatch Officer Lizzie Prior, who led the clean-up, said: “The drizzly weather certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the Smidge team who were incredibly engaged with the clean itself and with the source to sea story of litter. I hope seeing the situation first hand will help cement the brand’s commitment in continuing to work on an even wider range of multi-use products going forward.”
“The team were really excited to come together and do something new that really fits in with the values of Smidge,” said Rob Jones, Managing Director at Smidge. “The work MCS do for our environment is really important and we are hoping that, with time, the plastic washed up on our beaches won’t be such a significant issue. This is something that Smidge as a brand really cares about and we hope to get involved and help wherever we can”
Sabah Shafi, Marketing Communications Executive at Smidge said: “The brand is passionate about being environmentally friendly as well as being fun and colourful. This beach clean has been our way of starting off Smidge, by trying to contribute and ‘do our bit.’ The Smidge team have really enjoyed it”
Pam Dorritt, Smidge Warehouse Manager from Bristol, who took part in the clean said: “Yesterday’s beach clean was not only good for cleaning the beach but also good for team building. Everyone went away feeling good at being able to take part in this and quite pleased at what we had managed to collect. I think we all now have a greater awareness of what is harming the sea life. It’s not just the obvious like plastic bags and bottles and nets but all the things we had not considered like the wipes, cotton buds, sanitary products. I am sure we will now all be more aware of the way we dispose of our waste and I hope we have the opportunity to take part again.”
James Robinson, Smidge Marketing Manager from Bristol, said: “Great day, had by all! MCS were inspiring and informative, shocked by the 66Kilos of plastic we collected. I slept really well (not sure if it was the sea air or knowing I had done my little bit). The next beach clean is already in the family diary.”
Dr Laura Foster, MCS Head of Clean Seas said: “Reducing single use plastic items and replacing with them multi-use products is vital if we are to make inroads on the amount of single-use plastic that enters our oceans. Reusability is the key going forward and the more items we can use again and again the less that will end up in our oceans.”
For more information about the Marine Conservation Society please visit their website by clicking here.