We are now aware of the problem of plastics in the environment and the global scale of marine pollution by plastics. There is a clear need to move beyond just measuring this litter whether it be on the beaches or at sea and there are now a growing range of actions developing to both prevent this pollution and use the materials once collected. The ideas around the circular economy are very important.

Three examples – wet wipes, plastic bottles & discarded fishing netting

Emma Cunningham writes    Wet wipes turn nasty when you flush them – MCS and Thames Water arranged for the major retailers to go down the sewer to see the problem of flushed wipes for themselves. In addition, we supported Wessex Water’s letter sent to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).  Along with other partners, we believe that products currently sold to consumers are mislabelled. We are still pushing public petition and aiming for 10,000 signatures to apply pressure to retailers to remove flushable labelling from their own brand products (over 6,000 signature so far)

Plastic bottles – the next plastic to be banned? Deposit Return System – Lots of work on-going regarding DRS – Deposit Return System, but this is latest: #wildbottlesighting – As a partner of the Have You Got The Bottle campaign we are launching a fun social media campaign on facebook and twitter that everyone can get involved in. We would like you to take pictures of ‘wild bottles’ – any plastic bottles that have been littered please take a photo and post to social media with the hashtag #wildbottlesighting and the city/town/beach that you found it. We are hoping to make a map of all of our ‘Wild Bottle Sightings’ across Scotland to take to MSPs to highlight why a Deposit Return System for Scotland would help reduce marine litter. If you would like more information on the campaign then please head to this link.  The German approach

Emma Cunningham emma.cunningham@mcsuk.org

Recycler of ‘ghost’ fishing nets makes marine litter trendy     The Guardian: The oceans are choked with discarded fishing nets, or ghost nets, that are estimated to kill 300,000 whales, dolphins and seals each year. It’s a grotesque and avoidable toll on nature, and one that Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil, hopes to reduce using an unlikely ally – fashion. The Italian firm is pioneering the use of “ghost” or discarded fishing nets to make a synthetic fabric marketed under the name Econyl that’s currently being used by several apparel brands, including Speedo and California surfer Kelly Slater’s Outerknown. Last year, Aquafil recycled more than 5,000 tons of discarded nets at its factory in Trento in the north-east of Italy. With the exception of fish farming nets, which are coated with copper oxide to prevent algae and cannot be used, the company receives nets directly from fishermen, or through partnerships with two firms, Healthy Seas and Net-Works. Read more

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