Dorset Wildlife Trust’s chief executive is calling on the county to do more to become a plastic-free county.

Simon Cripps is lobbying for change before it becomes to late for our oceans and environment.

He said: “Conservationists have been warning of the problems of plastic waste especially in our oceans for years, but were making little headway against the huge pro-plastic lobby. It took just one programme fronted by Sir David Attenborough to change everything and finally break the impasse. 

“Blue Planet 2 showed various threats to our oceans in a very non-accusatory, appealing way, but it was the dead whale calf and the plastics that were taken into everyone’s hearts.

“Making progress in conservation is often a series of steps: identify the issue, suggest a solution, get sufficient profile to take action and then the action itself.  Blue Planet 2 really gave this issue the profile it so desperately needed because the scale of problem was already well known.”

In the UK alone 35 million plastic bottles are discarded per day – a staggering 12.7 billion per year and a total of 91 per cent of all plastics aren’t recycled.

Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide with more than one million bags are used every minute and it takes 500 to 1,000 years for plastics to degrade.

Mr Cripps said: “I think there is an awful lot we can do to make a difference pretty quickly.  Already councils are doing a great deal to recycle plastics and at the very least (and it is the very least) ensure they stay within landfills. 

“We have to play our part by buying less in plastic packages. That means refilling preferably non-plastic water bottles. That scheme championed by Whitbread and water companies around the country to top up water bottles at various shops and cafes is a great start.

"We at DWT are selling a refillable water bottle which Neal’s Yard Remedies, our corporate partner, are using to front their campaign as the first high street chain to roll out free water fill stations nationally.  All DWT’s visitor centres are offering free water refills.

“Let’s see the major coffee retailers fill up our favourite own mugs rather than give out plasticised cups. 

“Take reusable plastic bags to the shops.  They are a lot more useful and suitable than nasty, weak plastic bags anyway.  I remember many years ago shopping in Carrefour in France and finding at the till that they didn’t have any plastic bags even if you wanted to pay for them. 

“Loading item by item into the car was a strong incentive not to forget the shopping bags again.  The 5p tax on bags has had a dramatic improvement on the state of our own beaches, with the number of discarded bags declining by half.  It just shows what can be done.”

He added: “I believe though that this is just scratching at the symptom not the cause. We need to change the way we think about disposable products.  It should be no longer acceptable to buy products wrapped in single use plastics, except perhaps a small amount of thin films. Maybe not even that.”

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