Over the past 14 years Frugi have been supporting the Cornwall Wildlife Trust's marine conservation work, in particular their 'Living Seas' programme which focuses on research and protection of our precious marine life.
We spoke to Ruth Williams, Marine Conservation Manager at Cornwall Wildlife Trust about the fight against plastic pollution and what you can do to help.
How can we reduce the ever-rising tide of marine litter in our oceans and on our beaches?
Walk along any of the UK's beautiful beaches and you will inevitably find marine litter; and single use plastic bottles make up a huge proportion of the litter found – persistent souvenirs of today’s throwaway society.
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats facing our marine environment, both locally and globally. The amount of litter found on UK beaches has consistently risen for the last 20 years, and globally it is estimated that about 8 million pieces of plastic enter the sea every day. It's not just horrible to see, it causes huge damage to our marine wildlife.
One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die annually from ingestion of, or entanglement in, marine litter. A plastic bottle will take up to 1,000 years to break down and, even more worryingly, plastics can release toxic chemicals into the oceans, with severe adverse effects on marine wildlife, and possibly us too.
These disturbing figures highlight the current crisis, but work is underway to try to tackle the ever-rising tide of plastics. It is vital that we all take responsibility of the problem. We all need to make conscious behavioural changes: to take informed decisions about what we buy as consumers, to refuse single-use plastics, to reduce the amount we throw away, and to recycle what we can. The consequent reduction in marine litter will not only improve our beaches visually but, crucially, will also reduce the threat to our incredible marine wildlife.
How can I do my bit?
One easy way everyone can help is to become a ReFill champion! A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute, but why? In the UK we have perfectly good, pure tap water.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust is working with BeachCare and Clean Cornwall taking the battle against plastic waste to the next level with ReFILL Cornwall, part of nationwide free water refill campaign. It’s easy; we can reduce our plastic pollution by making just one simple change – to choose tap water instead of buying plastic bottled water, both at home and when out and about.
Frugi are now selling some awesome refillable bottles so there’s no excuse not to join the ReFill army!
If you are a business, we encourage you to ‘put your tap on the map’ via the ReFill app (https://refill.org.uk/add-refill-station) and show you are a ReFILL location by displaying a sticker in your window. Frugi are encouraging all of their stockists to do this by providing them with stickers and information.
Remember the four R's: Refuse, Reduce, Re-use and Recycle:
- Refuse single-use plastic such as bags, bottles and packaging
- Reduce your rubbish; Re-use and recycle what you can.
If you live by the sea you can do your own 2 minute beach clean.
And always think before you flush unsuitable items down the toilet!
So far we have re-purposed over 500,000 plastic bottles and this season we have introduced fab range of backpacks, lunch bags and pencil cases to the recycled range!
This is how many recycled bottles go into making these items...
For the full range, check out our Planet Frugi page- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
How does the Guppyfriend help?
The Guppyfriend is a washing bag that prevents microfibres from entering the sea by cleverly capturing them during the washing cycle.
Just pop your clothing in the bag and wash as normal.
After the wash simply remove your garments and dispose of any fibres….
Buy the Guppyfriend on our website here