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Minister backs Plastic Free Island campaign

29 January 2018

The Minister for the Environment has backed a campaign to reduce the amount of plastic used in the Island.

Surfers against Sewage (SAS) run a national campaign which encourages communities to reduce their use of plastic and achieve ‘Plastic Free Coastline' status.

Deputy Steve Luce wants the Island to sign up to a tailor-made and officially-sanctioned version of the national campaign. If successful, it  would mean Jersey is awarded ‘Plastic Free Island’ status.

Plastic in our seas

Deputy Luce said ‘Like many Islanders, I feel we have to do something to tackle the growing problem of plastic in our seas. We can’t change what washes up here from elsewhere, but we can make a personal difference by making small changes to the choices we make and encouraging others to do the same. If we manage to achieve Plastic Free Island status it will send a signal to others that this matters to our Island community and we are making a positive change.’

SAS regional representative and SUPKids founder Linzi Hawkin said ‘Growing up in Jersey gave me a really strong connection to the ocean and the environment, so when Surfers Against Sewage launched this campaign I realised it was an opportunity for us all to play a part in the solution to this devastating global plastic problem and make a difference in our own backyard.’

Achievable environmental wins

Environmental activist and blogger Sheena Brockie said ‘I’m excited about the real potential of this initiative.  It focuses on stemming our unnecessary plastic culture and brings individuals, schools, businesses and government together into a true community with the same aims - to stop plastic pollution at source and to clean up pollution from our beaches. Huge, but achievable, environmental wins.’

The campaign will be officially launched in June and to achieve official ‘Plastic Free Island’ status from Surfers Against Sewage, Jersey must demonstrate the following:

  • the Council of Ministers must resolve to support plastic free initiatives

  • a set number of local businesses must swap three plastic items for reusable alternatives in their workplace or shop

  • the campaign must get the public and community organisations to support it

  • a steering group must organise at least two local free community events each year such as a beach clean or fund raiser

  • the steering group must monitor progress and collect the evidence

How to reduce plastic-use

Among the things people can do to help Jersey remain plastic-free are:

  • encourage local cafes, pubs and public
  • spaces to make sure drinking water is readily available and remember to carry a reusable water bottle
  • challenge your favourite cafe to reduce single-use cups and plastic stirrers
  • take a reusable bag each time you go shopping

  • recycle any single-use plastic bottles and containers you come into contact with

  • share information about the effect of plastic straws on wildlife and ask them to refuse a straw or to ask for a paper version when ordering a drink

  • look for plastic-free items for everyday life, such as bamboo toothbrushes, or reusable travel cutlery 

  • ask your favourite restaurant or takeaway to replace single-containers

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