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Marine Conservation Society urges people to get through July plastic free

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Take on the charity’s ‘Plastic Challenge’ to try and detox your life of the planet’s substance of convenience

With more plastic than fish (by weight) in our seas predicted to be a possibility by 2050, our reliance on plastic in all its forms is clear.

We’re in a plastic pickle.

With the nightmare that plastic pollution is creating in our oceans now high on political, personal and news agendas, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK’s leading marine charity, is once again throwing down the gauntlet to the public to take on its Plastic Challenge.

MCS is asking people to give up single-use plastics for the whole of July.

Simon Reeve, TV presenter and MCS Ocean Ambassador, says: “Our planet is becoming poisoned by plastic. The vast amount in our oceans has become an environmental emergency as a direct result of our throwaway society. That’s why I’m supporting thousands of people living without single use plastic this July as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge. Don’t just get depressed about plastic – stop using it!

The charity has run the Plastic Challenge for the last four years – and has been supported in doing so by BRITA UK since 2016. More than 1,000 people took part in 2016, and last year over 5,035 registered to give up using single use plastic. That includes food packaged in plastic, plastic water bottles, plastic milk bottles, shower gels, toothpaste and pasta to name but a very few!

This is a challenge that you can make as easy or as hard for yourself as you like” says Dr. Sue Kinsey MCS Technical Specialist. “But however you choose to do it you won’t fail to realise just how reliant on plastic we’ve become. Some things are really tough to replace however much you want to give up single-use plastic”.

The support we had last year was amazing and we know, from the comments we received on social media, that for many, this month is the start of a lifestyle change.

Among the things people found hardest to replace were milk containers, dried goods packaged in single use plastic like pasta rice and pulses, loo paper and toothpaste.

MCS says that many people who take on the challenge really do get stuck in.

They know why it’s so important to cut down on our plastic use,” says Dr Kinsey. “If these dedicated ditchers found it hard to find non single use plastic alternatives then that just goes to show how plastic dominates our lives even if you actively don’t want it to.

This year MCS hopes even more people will try and give up single use plastic during July. The BBC’s Blue Planet II brought the issue of plastic pollution in our seas into the UK’s sittings rooms at the back end of last year and this year there’s also more help and advice available than before to help Challengers.

MCS has written a book on the living life without plastic: “How To Live Plastic Free – a day in the life of a plastic detox” (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3)

The book takes you through an average day giving tips and practical advice on how to remove unnecessary plastic at every opportunity. From getting up to going to bed you can find out about plastic-free cosmetics, mealtimes, shopping, workplace, pets, sporting and special events.

Last year Challengers made their own bread, yogurt, cleaning and bathroom products like mouthwash and sugar scrubs so as not to use plastic containers that are used once and then thrown out.

MCS beach cleaning data has revealed a rise of 180% of plastic litter found on beaches in the last two decades posing a huge threat to wildlife and humans. Plastic bags, bottles and tiny plastic pieces, are regularly found in the stomachs of turtles and other sea creatures and in some cases have caused their death from starvation or choking.

Reducing plastic litter will certainly be an uphill climb – but there are some easy steps to take and if we can all cut down the amount we use there’s no doubt our marine environment will be a healthier place” says Dr. Kinsey. “People taking on the Plastic Challenge are often shocked to find out just how much single-use plastic is used every day. Have a go and even if you can only manage a single day and you’ll never look at your shopping in the same way again!

The Plastic Challenge is once again being sponsored by water filtration company BRITA UK. Becky Widdowson is BRITA UK’s Marketing Director: ”It’s fantastic to be supporting the Plastic Challenge alongside MCS once again. At BRITA UK we believe it is absolutely vital that we step up to protect marine life from the unnecessary damage done by single use plastic bottles and other forms of plastic litter. One or two small changes such as carrying a refillable bottle or a reusable bag or opting out of disposable bottled water when we buy our lunch or go to the gym, could have such an enormous positive impact. Given that 60 per cent of people would be willing to switch from bottled water to more environmentally friendly alternatives it’s clear this can be done.

Sign up to take part in the Plastic Challenge at: www.mcsuk.org/plastic-challenge 

“How To Live Plastic Free – a day in the life of a plastic detox” (Published by Headline UK, ISBN 978-1-4722-5981-3) is available to buy now. For details visit: www.mcsuk.org/news/MCS-Live-Plastic-Free-Book 

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Competitions

WIN an EcoScribe ‘Plastic Free’ Stationary Gift Set!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with EcoScribe to give away a ‘Plastic Free’ Stationery Gift Set as a prize!

Enjoy EcoScribe’s ‘100% plastic free’ stationery gift set which contains 1 A5 kraft cover notebook & 10 kraft paper pens. Once used, it is 100% recyclable – a fantastic, sustainable alternative to everyday plastic stationery!

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we announced the launch of our brand new website www.ukdiveadventures.com, a fantastic new online resource full of scuba diving news, blogs, travel features and deals, plus outstanding underwater photography exclusively about the dive destinations in all corners of the UK and Ireland.

But how many kilometres of coastline do we write that the UK has in the post?

Is it:

A) 22,000km

B) 23,000km

C) 24,000km

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

EcoScribe 'Plastic Free' Stationary Gift Set January 2022

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of EcoScribe and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 09/03/22. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

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Stories behind the winning images by Nur Tucker – January NUPG meeting (watch video)

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The January 2022 NUPG meeting saw Nur Tucker take to the virtual stage. Nur has seen huge success with her underwater photography in recent years, winning several high profile competitions. In this talk she was hugely generous to share just how she got the shots. Nur shared what drives her, her dedication to practicing techniques wherever she can, and some of the innovative ideas she has come up with to create images that stand out from the crowd. You can see more of her work here.

The monthly NUPG competition theme in January was “The End of the Dive” and the winner was John Spencer with this split-shot of a diver getting back onto the boat after a dive in the Menaii Strait.

The next meeting is on Monday the 21st February and sees Scubaverse photo-journalist, Sean Chinn, talk about the images he has taken during the pandemic.

For more information about the Northern Underwater Photography Group visit their website by clicking here.

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Situated in Naama Bay, this 4-star hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with a balcony or terrace overlooking the landscaped pool area or Naama Bay. A free shuttle to its waterpark and private beach are provided at specified times.

The resort has 3 bars and an in-house restaurant serving local and international dishes. Guests can also enjoy traditional shisha, and room service is available.

The beach and Naama Bay’s nightlife, restaurants, and shops are within walking distance.

WAS £895pp / NOW from just £760 per person based on sharing a twin room including:

  • Direct flights from Gatwick to Sharm el Sheikh with 15kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in Mountain View room
  • All Inclusive meal plan
  • 5 days’ local reef day boat diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights

*Marine Park fees payable locally

Other departure airports available at a supplement.

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – alternative dates available.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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