SeaStraw sign up 100 Ocean Heroes

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Ocean-lovers on a mission to rid Manchester (and beyond) of single-use plastic

SeaStraw is an environmental campaign focussed on helping bars and restaurants to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they use. The campaign was founded by an ocean-loving family, including Scubaverse team members Nick and Caroline, who had seen the plastic problem first hand and wanted to do their bit to help reduce the amount of disposable plastic. Over a beer in a local bar, SeaStraw was formed.

  • Plastic can remain in the environment for over 2,000 years. It does not biodegrade, but instead breaks down into tiny pieces.
  • ​Over 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year, and much of that plastic comes from our rivers.
  • By 2050 it’s estimated there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.

​SeaStraw works with pubs, bars, restaurants and other businesses to avoid single-use plastic and help businesses move to sustainable alternatives. The idea started by asking bars and restaurants to swap their plastic straws for sustainable alternatives like paper, but quickly grew to look at how we can reduce other kinds of single-use plastics for food and drinks.

Doug Robertson, co-founder of SeaStraw, says: “We came up with the idea of a pledge, where a bar, restaurant or takeaway promises to stop using single-use plastic straws, cups or takeaway containers. It’s a great way of starting a conversation around the quick and easy things to change, then we can go from there to look at the more complicated issues of other single-use plastic”.

SeaStraw are delighted that it has reached 100 bars and restaurants that have signed up to the pledge around Greater Manchester and are keen to hear from other businesses who want to join the cause.

Dr Luke Blazejewski, SeaStraw campaigner and wildlife photographer, says: “The impact of plastic on our oceans is a really hot topic at the moment, but what a lot of people don’t realise is the impact plastic is having on the wildlife of our cities. Urban rivers are being suffocated with plastic, and nesting birds are using plastic as nesting material more than ever before”. Luke volunteered to make a campaign video for SeaStraw and you can see his fantastic work below.

​Doug says: “We have a dedicated and passionate team of volunteers who chat to the staff at bars and restaurants and raise the question of whether they would consider replacing their single-use plastics with sustainable alternatives. Cutting back on plastic can attract more customers and actually save money”.

To learn more about the SeaStraw campaign please visit their website by clicking here.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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