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Meet Wallace, a monster made from wet wipes, and find out why you should be a ‘binner’ not a ‘flusher’

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Marine Conservation Society and South West Water set to reveal why misleading labelling must be wiped out

Marine Conservation SocietyThe UK’s leading marine charity and the water company that supplies Cornwall are joining forces to highlight the huge problems created by flushing wet wipes down the loo – with the help of a giant monster made out of wipes!

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is bringing Wallace the Wet Wipe Monster to Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth on Thursday 8th September for a joint event with South West Water.

Wallace will be the centrepiece of a day aimed at helping the public understand the financial and environmental cost of putting the wrong stuff down the loo. Created by Designs in Air, based in Bristol, Wallace is over 3m tall and 8m wide.

MCS say that the number of wet wipes found on UK beaches have increased by 400% over the last decade and there are now about 50 of the little squares found on every kilometre of coastline cleaned by the charity’s volunteers during just one weekend.

Wet wipes are one of the great convenience products of the 21st century – we can’t get enough of them – baby wipes, hygiene wipes, moist toilet tissue, cleaning wipes – our bathrooms are full of them. But instead of ending up in the bin when they’re finished with – many end up being popped down the loo. It’s not just the ones that we know shouldn’t be flushed that are causing the problems, but also those described as flushable or dispersible (in the case of moist toilet tissue). Water companies, like South West Water, are finding that, when flushed, these result in blockages because they don’t meet the water industry standard allowing them to be flushed.

P1130642South West Water says it costs them, and their customers, £4.5million each year to clear around 8,500 blockages in their sewerage network – about 65% of which are caused by wipes and other sanitary products being flushed down the toilet.

Last August, South West Water launched its Love Your Loo campaign to encourage customers only to flush the 3Ps – pee, paper and poo. Earlier this year MCS launched its Wet Wipes Turn Nasty When You Flush Them campaign to highlight the issue and encourage people to sign the charity’s petition for clearer labelling on all wipes packaging.

Laura Foster, MCS Head of Pollution says blockages can be expensive and cause a great deal of inconvenience to households but are completely avoidable: “Wallace, our wet wipe monster, is a great way to engage with people about what happens when wet wipes are flushed. We want retailers to remove any “flushable” labelling from their packaging so customers have the right information in their hands and become ‘binners’ not ‘flushers’ and only flush the 3Ps down the loo!”

Andy Willicott, Director of Operations (Waste Water) at South West Water, says wet wipes clog up pipes and affect the service to customers: “To combat this we’re pleased to team up with MCS to encourage more people to change their behaviours and only flush the 3Ps. We’re also working closely with the rest of the industry to persuade retailers and manufacturers to label their products responsibly so that our customers aren’t confused and our drains don’t get blocked.”

To find out more about the problems wet wipes cause, come and meet Wallace and his handlers from MCS and South West Water at Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth Cornwall on Thursday 8th September from 11am – 4pm.

If you can’t make the event then please visit the website and sign the petition for clearer labelling – www.wetwipesturnnasty.com and www.southwestwater.co.uk/loveyourloo.

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Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap

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The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)

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It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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