Take the Plastic Challenge this July with the Marine Conservation Society


For the past six years, the Marine Conservation Society has tasked the public to re-think their relationship with plastic and go plastic-free for the whole of July. The Plastic Challenge encourages us all to think about the amount of plastic we’re using in our everyday lives, and take steps to change our habits, for the good of the ocean.

This July, the charity is doing it a little differently, asking members of the public to set their own Plastic Challenge and make small changes that don’t even require leaving the house. Mindful of the challenges which Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown have posed to maintaining a plastic-free or low waste lifestyle, the Marine Conservation Society is tasking challengers with setting their own goals for reducing plastic usage. So, whether you’re a complete beginner, or a plastic-free devotee, there’s a little something we can all do to stop the plastic tide.

At last year’s Great British Beach Clean, plastic and polystyrene remained the most common form of litter found on beaches across the UK, with an average of a staggering 143 plastic pieces found for every 100m of coastline! By taking on the Plastic Challenge, and encouraging action at home, no matter how near or far from the coast we may be, we can all have a huge impact on reducing the plastic lapping at our shores.

Erin O’Neill, Plastic Challenge Coordinator said: “Every year, so many people join us and challenge themselves to going plastic-free for July. This is a huge undertaking, as plastic is so prolific in our everyday lives. This year, we hope that asking individuals to make their own Plastic Challenge will encourage more people to get involved and rethink their relationship to single-use plastic. The lockdown has made plastic even more difficult to avoid, but by pledging to cut out just one item of plastic from your everyday life, you can have a tangible impact on the health of our seas.”

Photo: Catherine Gemmell – MCS

Some Plastic Challenge inspiration:

  • Pledge to avoid buying pre-bagged fruit and vegetables
  • Reuse old single-use plastic items around the house
  • Swap disposable plastic razors for reusable metal
  • Take water out with you in a reusable bottle
  • Make your own cleaning products and re-use old bottles

Getting involved and started couldn’t be easier. Pledge to set yourself a Plastic Challenge on the Marine Conservation Society website, tell others what your #plasticchallenge will be on social media, and receive helpful hints, tips, guidance and inspiration from experts with weekly emails to help keep your Challenge going throughout July.

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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