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Portsmouth communities work together to tackle plastic pollution

An online plastic pollution workshop for Portsmouth on Friday, October 16th, encouraged people to work together and inspire behaviour changes locally.

Community leaders attending the Environment Agency event heard how they could access resources and share experience as part of wider ambitions to reduce avoidable plastic waste to zero by 2042.

It was delivered by the plastics and sustainability team as part of a programme of partnership activity in England and France for the Interreg Preventing Plastic Pollution project, which identifies and targets hotspots for plastic by looking at catchments from source to sea.

Preventing waste plastic entering the environment by cracking down on waste crime and poor waste management is a key activity for the Environment Agency as a regulator. As an influencer, it also has an ambition to promote better environmental practices that result in a reduction of plastic waste, helping to achieve the goals and commitments outlined in its five year plan to create better places for people, places and the environment, and the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

Experts believe around 10 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean every year, of which approximately 50 percent of marine litter is made up of single-use items.

Environment Agency officer Jonathan Harvey, from the plastics and sustainability team, said: “As an organisation we’re urging people to avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle waste. This network of local leaders, which includes zero waste groups, sustainability groups, plastic free communities and local authorities, will support communities with the resources they need to make long-term sustainable change, and tackle plastic pollution at source.

“Plastic litters our countryside and coastline, blighting our natural environment. It is harmful to wildlife and there are concerns about potential impacts on the food chain and biodiversity.

“As a result, it’s absolutely essential we encourage open conversations with communities, bring people together, and provide the tools for them to speak with one voice to tackle this rapidly escalating problem.”

Workshop attendees had the chance to find out about the impact of plastic pollution using sustainable alternatives, how to organise litter picks, access marketing materials, and get involved with existing local projects.

They also heard from keynote speakers, including Professor Steven Fletcher from the University of Portsmouth, who spoke about a project called Revolution Plastics.

To find out more about the workshop email plasticsandsustainbility@environment-agency.gov.uk.

If you spot a plastic pollution incident contact the 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 6

 

Photo Credit: Alastair Scarlett / EA