Three leading environmental campaigners lead discussion on the plastic pollution in our oceans.
Sustainability was the word on everyone’s lips at the RYA Dinghy Show this weekend as the Show welcomed three environmental campaigners to the Great Hall Stage.
Kate Fortnam, Campaign Manager from The Green Blue was joined by Olympic Champion, Hannah Mills, representing The Big Plastic Pledge and Bianca Carr of The Final Straw Solent. The trio were interviewed by Sam Whaley, member of the British Sailing Team, who led the discussion surrounding ‘Dinghy Sailing for Sustainability.’
The campaigners spoke of their own personal experiences of witnessing plastic pollution at sea and how this has impacted on their sailing and leisure time. Bianca told the audience how she felt compelled to join the war on plastic after seeing children decorating sandcastles with plastic remnants rather than the traditional seashells. The Final Straw Solent now regularly organises beach cleans in the South of England, as well as running outreach programmes to schools.
The talk also encouraged action from the older members of the audience to become more involved in the sustainability of their sailing clubs and sailing events. It comes as many of the exhibitors at the RYA Dinghy Show have introduced sustainable products to their stands this year.
Hannah, from The Big Plastic Pledge, urged audience members and sailors to mitigate the impact of sailing on the environment by making conscious decisions when working on their boats: “Simply gathering up pieces of cut off electrical tape and laying down a mat when anti-fouling can really prevent plastic from making that small step into the sea.”
Plastic pollution is one of many campaigns that The Green Blue seeks to educate boaters on, other boating environmental campaigns include wildlife awareness, invasive species and anti-fouling.
Kate reminded the audience that often there are plastic alternative products available, but we just need to search them out: “The Green Blue website has an online directory of marine businesses that offer more sustainable products and services. It is important that we all begin to question our small everyday actions and purchases which can make a big difference to the environment.”