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Record breaking consultation reveals British people want the ‘plastic tax’

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Environmentalists are celebrating the mass participation to what was dubbed the ‘plastic-tax consultation’ in the largest response to a call for evidence in the Treasury’s history. Over 220 organisations and 400,000* citizens have responded to the Treasury’s call for evidence on the introduction of tax or charges on single use (throwaway) plastic items.

According to Luca Bonaccorsi, Director of Engagement & Communications at the Marine Conservation Society, who played a primary role in the public campaign:

This astounding response shows that the public cares deeply about this issue. Nearly half a million people have sent a message to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that can’t be ignored: single-use plastic must be reduced using taxes or charges. While we are pleased that the Treasury promises to address all of our demands, which included charging producers for throwaway plastic and using taxes to encourage recycling (i.e. making plastic which is difficult or impossible to recycle more expensive), we now run the risk of having to go through yet another consultation after the 2018 budget. We cannot afford to wait this long, implementation must happen quickly so we can see the start of what would be a huge societal change.”

According to Dr. Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society

We are supportive of the Treasury’s conclusions, but we need to see the shift to implementation. The four key points of tax used to shift demand towards recycled plastic, encourage recycling through better design, taxes and charges for on-the-go items, and greater recycling of waste are all positive statements. The government however, states that it will ‘examine’ taxes or charges on specific items, but the Environmental Audit Committee has already made recommendations on, for instance, coffee cups. With an estimated lorry load of plastic entering the ocean every minute – time is of the essence. 

The evidence from producers saying that they have difficulties sourcing recycled plastic highlights just how broken the system is, given that only one third of plastic food containers in the UK can be recycled. Brands and retailers say that they are responding to consumer demands, but we know that either consumers often have no access to alternatives (either because its not available or prohibitively expensive), or they are unaware that the product is not easily recyclable so do not make an informed choice (e.g. black plastic trays in supermarkets).

We certainly welcome the fact that the report acknowledges that items, where they can be, should be recycled rather than incinerated.”

For more information please visit the Marine Conservation Society website by clicking here.

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

Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Take an immersive dive below the waves off the Welsh coast using 360 VR: Common Spider Crab (Watch Video)

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A week-long series from Jake Davies…

Below the waves off the Welsh coast, there are a range of species and habitats that can be seen. However, you don’t have to venture too far from the shore to see them or don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Using 360 videos provides an immersive feeling of being below the water and encountering many species and habitats from diving one of the most important habitats and species that aren’t often seen whilst diving. For more of an experience of being below the waves, the VR videos can be viewed using a VR headset.

Take a VR dive just off the shore and explore what can be found within the shallow waters of a sandy beach. Fish can be founding cruising amongst the seaweed and numerous crustacean (Crabs, lobster, prawns, shrimps) species can be found walking around the seafloor. Common Spider Crabs (Maja brachydactyla) are one of the largest crabs species found along the coast and during the early summer, they aggregate in large numbers to moult which allows them to grow.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Dive Training Blogs

Join Me On My Commute To Scuba Diving Key Largo! (Watch Video)

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Sunrise was so beautiful the other morning, I wanted to take a time lapse of my drive from home in South Miami to Key Largo before morning dives with Horizon Divers.

I thought you might enjoy taking the ride with me! Silly I know! But here’s 2 minutes of chill!

D.S.D.O,

James


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

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

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This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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