Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash

Why City to Sea Whaley likes the new Teach the Future campaign

There is an industry that spews out the equivalent CO2 of 189 coal-fired power plants and that by 2050, will account for up to 13% of the total remaining carbon budget. We are of course talking about plastics and it’s a devastating contribution to climate breakdown. There is no bigger threat to our oceans than global warming.

And yet when you talk to people about the plastics industry most people think of its negative environmental impacts as just the plastic pollution left in our natural environment. And while this is a HUGE issue, we need people to educate themselves about its links to climate chaos. This is why City to Sea are throwing oceans of love and support at Teach the Future, a brand-new campaign launched by of SOS UK, the new sustainability charity set up by NUS officers and staff, and UKSCN, the school strikers’ group.

Its time get drastic in our action to tackle plastics and climate change. Shockingly just 4% of school pupils feel that they know a lot about climate change, whilst 75% of school teachers feel they don’t know enough about climate change to teach it. Teach the Future is demanding the Government implement six actions, these are the foundations of our fight against climate chaos and should be at the top of this government’s to do list.

Their calls are for:

  1. A government-commissioned review into how the whole of the English formal education system is preparing students for the climate emergency and ecological crisis
  2.  Inclusion of the climate emergency and ecological crisis in teacher training and a new professional teaching qualification
  3. An English Climate Emergency Education Act
  4. A national climate emergency youth voice grant fund
  5. A national Youth Climate Endowment Fund
  6. All new state-funded educational buildings should be net-zero from 2022; all existing state-funded educational buildings net-zero by 2030

City to Sea’s founder, Natalie Fee backed the calls saying,

“Just like the plastics floating in our oceans, the political response to the climate crisis has been rubbish. These are well thought out, practical and possible demands. Education isn’t just about exam results – but about empowering young people to be the champions of our shared planet. We also need to support all those phenomenal teachers that have dedicated their professional lives to supporting young people. This can’t be left to them alone. We all need to rise up, stand up and be counted”

Get involved:

If you feel like we feel, then contact your MP today and ask them to get these 6 asks

Find out more about these asks and read the full document here.

Please register your support on www.teachthefuture.uk and sign the petition here.

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Oceans of optimism

We are starting 2020 with a new bounce in our steps. Amidst the on-going storm of bad news, and climate catastrophe it can be hard to stay to positive - so throughout 2020, we’ll be bringing you a monthly dose of positive news filled with OCEANS OF OPTIMISM that we think is worth celebrating.

And we know that optimism is contagious. So, share these good news stories with friends, family and colleagues and together we can keep the tides changing.

Export Ban

Sending our polluting plastic waste to developing countries will soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new UK law. The Environment Bill has been reintroduced to include measures to protect developing nations against becoming the dumping ground for unwanted rubbish.

It also stipulates that firms producing packaging must take more responsibility for products and materials they put on the market. We are keeping a close eye on this to make sure the Government deliver on these promises.

Starbucks Shift to Reusables

As we expand the #RefillRevolution, we're happy to see Starbucks putting plans in place to move towards a resource-positive future, including a shift from single-use to reusable packaging. The switch from single-use is one of five environmental strategies identified as part of Starbucks’ new commitment to sustainability. Small steps pave the way for positive change!

Animals Against the Odds

With our newsfeeds full of doom and gloom around animal extinction, you may have missed the happier news coming from the animal kingdom. While the situation is dire for many animals in Australia and beyond, it is looking more hopeful for other species.

Supermarkets Switch

Supermarkets are taking steps in the right direction when it comes to tackling plastic pollution in 2020 with Asda launching a ‘sustainability store’ where shoppers can fill their own containers with food and Tesco announcing it is banishing shrink-wrapped multipacks of household staples backed beans, soup and tuna.

Iceland is set to trial plastic-free and low-plastic packaging across 38 of its fruit and vegetable lines, in a step towards its ambition for all own-brand lines to be free from single-use plastics by 2023.

Following Sainsbury’s example, Aldi has just become the second supermarket to scrap its own-brand plastic tampon applicators in an attempt to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic. With UK supermarkets generating an estimated 59 billion pieces of plastic a year, there is still a long way to go but it’s encouraging to see progress in this area.

Period Progress

In other supermarket news, Sainsbury’s has launched Love Luna, a new range of period-proof pants that can be worn for up to 24 hours. Starting at just £10 pair, these affordable period products make it possible for more people who menstruate to enjoy #plasticfreeperiods.

Teenagers across the UK are breaking the silence around periods, calling for more to be done to tackle the stigma around periods in schools. The brilliant Love Your Period campaign, launched by 17-year-old Molly Fenton, breaks the taboo around talking about menstruation in the hope of opening up a nationwide dialogue free from shame.

Turning Waste into Opportunity

In an abandoned Centre Parcs in Rotterdam, entrepreneurs are making innovative products out of rubbish. Mushrooms grown from coffee grounds, alternative leather made from rotten mangos and used period products transformed into green roofs are just a few of the BlueCity projects helping take the city of Rotterdam closer to its aim of becoming a circular economy by 2050.

Here in the UK, hundreds of John Lewis delivery trucks will soon be poo powered! The retailer has committed to switching from diesel fuel to carbon-neutral cow manure across hundreds of its trucks by 2021. The new cow pat-powered fleet will save the equivalent carbon footprint of over 6,000 UK households.

Scrub up on your gardening skills to cut plastic waste

Take inspiration from the team at the National Trust and try growing your own sponge to help cut down on plastic waste. You don’t need particularly green fingers either! Loofahs are as easy to grow as courgettes according to the National Trust, whose sponge-growing project forms part of its plan to completely eliminate single-use plastics from its sites by 2022.

Looking for something positive you can do?

  • 1. Take a stand against Coca-Cola. Tell Coke that you don’t want their single-use plastic bottles by posting on social media, tagging @CocaColaGB and using #CallOutCoke, just like we have done here. Sign the Plastic Pollution Coalition petition.
  • 2. Sign up for Plastic Free Journal our monthly newsletter filled with news, tips and advice on living with less please.
  • 3. Take part in #FishFreeFebruary. The biggest contributor to oceanic plastic pollution is fishing gear. That’s why we’re asking people to take action by pledging to go fish free in February. Follow @FishFreeFebruary to learn more and spread the word on social media!
  • 4. Donate to City to Sea and help power our planet-protecting plastic pollution campaigns.
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Call out Coke

In December we launched our #CallOutCoke campaign to challenge Coca-Cola for their recent advertising campaign claiming their bottles were no longer single-use because they could be recycled. We thought this was a pretty outrageous claim, particularly at a time when we need to be urgently taking action to reduce single-use plastic packaging.

As it turns out, Cola-Cola have no intention of reducing the amount of plastic they use. Defending their on-going escalating use of single-use plastic bottles, Coca-Cola’s Head of Sustainability, Bea Perez said “business won’t be in business if we don’t accommodate consumers.”

Before Christmas, hundreds of supporters joined us by lodging an official complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA have now responded to say that they are going to investigate some of the environmental claims made by Coca-Cola around the recyclability of their bottles but WILL NOT look into whether they are misusing the term single-use.  The ASA said that they “considered that the term “single-use” would be interpreted as relating to bottles that would normally become landfill, rather than recycled”. They’ve yet to tell us why they think this.

In general, we think that their response is littered with some pretty poor excuses for Coca-Cola’s abuse of term ‘single-use’.  We are currently seeking clarity on what we think are some pretty wild claims about what their decision-making body ‘thinks’.

Don’t keep your inner activist bottled up

We need you to keep this campaign fizzing and make sure Coca-cola knows we don’t want their plastic bottles and they are single-use.

1. Support on social media. Tell Coca-Cola that we don’t want their single-use plastic bottles by posting on social tagging @CocaCola_GB & using the hashtag #CallOutCoke

2. Sign the Plastic Pollution Coalition petition and add your voice to make sure they know consumers don’t share their views.

Ceci n'est pas une boutielle

As we go down the rabbit hole with the ASA we wanted to crack open Coca-Cola’s bottled up surrealism in their attempts to redefine what their plastic packaging is, and what it is not. Like so many of you, their claims that their bottles are not single-use plastic left a bitter taste in our mouths and so we have done a little artwork on their bottles.

And that’s a WRAP

Following the disappointing response from the ASA, we decided to take the issue to Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) who work with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency and who are behind the Plastics Pact a collaboration of business, NGOs and government that is based on a shared understanding of the word single-use.

Together with 7 other NGO’s, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and other members of the Break Free from Plastic Coalition we have written to the CEO of WRAP. To ask him to investigate and respond to Coca Cola’s advertising campaign clarifying how the organisation will both help protect the accepted definition of the term ‘single-use’ as well as holding its members to account on its goal to eliminate single-use packaging in five years.

We are also asking them to set clear guidelines for their members about what constitutes single-use to ensure a shared understanding of this underpins the Plastic Pact that they coordinate. We will wait to see how they respond - watch this space!

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Making waves in 2019

It’s been a monumental 12 months for us at City to Sea and for the environmental movement as a whole. Extinction Rebellion brought London to a standstill, the Friday’s for Future campaign exploded and ‘Climate Emergency’ was named as Oxford Language’s ‘Word of the Year 2019’. As a nation, we’re now, more aware than ever of the fragile state of our planet and the urgent action needed as we head into the new decade.

But before we pack up for Christmas and sail into the new year, it’s time to reflect on how far we’ve come together this year. None of this would be possible without our dedicated volunteers, supporters and of course our incredible partners.

We couldn’t do what we do without the support of each and every one of you, so a massive THANK YOU from all of us - you made all of this happen!

Here are a few of our highlights!

The rise of the Refill Revolution

The Refill campaign grew beyond belief in 2019 and we’re now on track to have prevented 100 million plastic bottles from entering our waste stream by the end of the year. We hit 250k app downloads and were listed in Vogue Magazine, The Telegraph and Men’s Health Magazine’s as a top sustainability app.

We held our second National Refill Day reaching an estimated 73 million on social media and were trending on Twitter ALL DAY!

Our incredible Refill community grew to over 350 schemes across the country, and there are now almost 30,000 Refill Stations on the app offering free drinking water to thirsty people.

We teamed up with food and farming charity, Sustain, to launch the #50Fountains Challenge and launched a pilot in Bristol & Oxford to expand the campaign and become the go-to for avoiding single-use plastic. Oh, and our Refill X Chilly’s bottle got a shout out on This Morning and the campaign featured on the BBC series ‘Hugh’s War on Plastic.’

As if that’s not enough, we’re now going global with Refill schemes launching in Japan, Italy, Chile, Ecuador and Australia!

None of this would be possible without our incredible community of volunteers, who drive the Refill Revolution on the ground and make the campaign the success it is today. Here’s to 2020 being even bigger and better!

Plastic-Free Periods – a #BloodySuccess

This year you helped us petition the government to get #PlasticFreePeriods products into schools. And joined us in launching our nationwide #RethinkPeriods schools programme and helped us encourage retailers to stock more eco-friendly product choice.

As a result of our petition, which had nearly 40,000 signatures, the Dept for Education said that products sent to schools would be now be required to be ‘environmentally friendly’. This move could prevent 90 million carrier bags worth of plastic!

We reached more than 11 million people on social media, raising awareness of the issue of plastic in menstrual products and our film ‘Turning Tides’ toured with the Ocean Film Festival during Environmenstrual Week.

We’ve also had success with the retailers and now have open dialogue with 7 large UK retailers, encouraging them to remove plastic from their own brand period products and stock more plastic-free period choices. This is all thanks to you calling them out on social media and letting them know it’s a #Bloodyshame reusables are not more widely available.

Plastic-Free Travel

Over the summer we launched the #PlasticFreeTravel campaign to help make it easier for people to avoid single-use plastic when they are travelling. We teamed up with transport hubs, like Heathrow Airport and Network Rail to ensure travellers were able to Refill on the go. Partnering with Premier Inn as our ‘best practice partner’ pledging to reduce single-use plastic across their hotels.

We had our voices heard and petitioned the top 5 Health & Beauty retailers to encourage them to stock more plastic-free products.

Be A Good A**hole

In the autumn, we took our Unflushables campaign to the next level, working with Lord of the Rings film-star Andy Serkis in a hilarious new role as a 'talking a**hole'.

Our #BeAGoodAsshole campaign was a big hit with the media - in what must be one of our all-time campaign highlights, we got The Guardian, the Telegraph and Huffpost to use the word anus in a serious feature about wet wipes and fat bergs! But on a serious note, the campaign reached millions, raising awareness of a massive issue to a totally new audience.

Next year, the a**hole advert is going on tour and will coming to a cinema near you. Watch this space!

#CallOutCoke

In case you missed it, last week we took on plastic-polluting giants Coca-Cola for their recent digital and out-of-home advertising campaign. We complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about Coke’s use of the phrase ‘single-use’ and challenged them on their claim that ‘single-use plastic bottles are only single-use if they are thrown away.’

The ASA has now been inundated with complaints from our incredible supporters and is now looking into the campaign. With Coca-Cola named as the top polluter globally, it’s campaigns like this and the support from all of you, which really allow us to have a big impact in preventing plastic pollution at source.

Awards, awards and more awards!!

2019 has been the year of awards for us at City to Sea!

The Refill campaign WON two awards – the best ‘Reduce & Reuse Campaign’ at the Plastic Free Awards and the prestigious Energy Globe Award. We’ve also been shortlisted for the Edie Sustainability Leaders Awards for our National Refill Day campaign.

Our film ‘Turning Tides’ won the TVE Global Sustainability Awards ‘Beyond Plastic category’ and we won the Surf Film Fest ‘Shorty Awards’ for a film to raise awareness of the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Our founder Nat won the Sunday Times and Volvo ‘Visionary Award’ and our CEO Rebecca was listed as one of NatWest’s WISE100 (Women in Social Enterprise 100).

City to Sea team

Our team

It’s been a year since our CEO took the helm and in January, we also welcomed our brilliant Non-Executive Board to further strengthen our governance and accountability.

We are now an incredible team of 36 everyday people doing extraordinary things. We're campaigners, volunteers, academics, influencers, techies, strategists, creatives, partnership managers, social marketeers and so much more!

We’re all here thanks to one inspirational lady, our founder Natalie. It’s been a special year for her as she launched her second book ‘How to Save the World for Free’ – which has gone on to be an Amazon best-seller! Nat has also released a new music video, secured a column with Time-Out magazine and featured in countless media and TV interviews, reaching millions!

And Nat’s not the only team member with book out this year. Our videographer Michelle, has recently published a children’s plastic pollution book - ‘Seb & Polly Planet on their Ocean Quest.

Rest and regenerate

That’s it from us this this year. We’ll be closing the office for the Christmas break and taking some much-needed time to rest, restore and regenerate. And we hope you’ll be doing the same! Enjoy some time in nature, switch off your phone and give yourself some space to reflect and recharge.

Next year we’ll be back and ready to continue with our mission to prevent plastic pollution at source by awakening active hope, championing practical solutions and inspiring collective action.

Our vision is a world where everyone connects their actions to our oceans and all life can thrive. And together we can make this vision a reality. After all, we don’t need one person to do it perfectly, we need millions to do it imperfectly.

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Coca-Cola Advert

ASA and Coca-Cola respond to advert complaint

Last week we logged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)against Coca-Cola for their recent advertising campaign claiming their bottles were no longer single-use because they could be recycled.  

Here at City to Sea, we want big brands and massive polluters like Coca-Cola, to stop this kind of greenwashing and take positive steps to transition away from single-use and move towards systems of reuse. Advertisements that attempt to mislead the public and have the potential to increase the number of plastic bottles polluting our planet, can and should be banned.  

You can see our complaint, and understand more about why we complained, here. 

Coca-Cola hits back

Following the backlash, Coca-Cola hit back claiming we had “misunderstood the message of the campaign” and that instead it “was designed to make clear to people that all of our bottles can and should be recycled so that the plastic in them can be used to make a new bottle.”  

Coca-Cola stated that they were “working to make them as sustainable as possible by doubling the amount of recycled plastic they are made from and ensuring all of them are recovered and recycled”.  However, they accept the fact that “for the plastic in our bottles to have more than one use, the essential first step is for the bottle to be in a recycling bin. That’s what the advert was encouraging consumers to do”.  

But we think Coca-Cola and the ASA are the ones who have misunderstoodThe United Nations (who we would regard as a fairly authoritative voice on most matters!) define single-use as; “items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.” 

Our supporters

We’re not the only ones who believe it’s not Coca-Cola’s privilege to redefine single-use and that instead we should be choosing the Refill Revolution. We’ve had backing from campaigners like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Break Free From Plastic. 

We’ve also been blown away by the response from our supportersThanks to YOU the ASA was inundated with complaints and initially released a statement saying that they were looking into the ‘single use plastic campaign’ by Coca-Cola.  

The complaint was also picked up by media bodies within the food and beverage sector, including Food ManufactureResource Magazine and New Food Magazine 

ASA responds

The ASA have responded to say they ARE investigating the environmental claims made by Coca-Cola but WILL NOT look into whether they are misusing the term single-use.  

As you can imagine, we are delighted they are looking into the claims Coca-Cola make about the environmental credentials of their product, but we also stand by our initial complaint and have responded asking for the ASA to clarify some points in their response including what definition (if not the UN’s, the EU’s or even the recycling body WRAP’s that Coca-Cola are part of) they are using.  

Thank you

As ever, we’re incredibly grateful for everyone getting behind this and for the ongoing support we’ve received. Although the ASA are unable to give a specific timeframe for this ruling, we will keep you informed with any updates we receive.  

Together we really can make a difference and hold corporations to account.  

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Coca-Cola Advert

Complaint made over “misleading” Coca-Cola advert

Sending plastic round in circles?

Have you seen the new Coca-Cola advert claiming their single-use plastic bottles aren’t single-use because they can be recycled? Yes, that’s right. They are trying to redefine the phrase ‘single-use’ in their adverts, setting a dangerous precedent to the rest of the drinks industry.

Coca-Cola’s assertion that plastic bottles are only single-use if we throw them away rather than recycle misrepresents a commonly held definition of the word single-use. This confusion has the potential to increase the volume of plastic bottles ending up in our environment, perpetuating the environmental damage that plastic pollution causes.

The word single-use was recognised as the Collins Dictionary ‘word of the year’ in 2018, demonstrating the level at which it has reached the public vernacular. They defined it as: “products that are often made of plastic and have been made to use just once, only to be thrown away after, rendering them unsustainable and harmful to the planet.”

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines ‘single-use’ plastic as follows: “single-use is a term which can refer to any plastic items which are either designed to be used for one time by the consumer before they are thrown away or recycled, or likely to be used in this way”.

Clearly Coca-Cola’s bottles are single-use according to all commonly held and legal definitions from highly reputable organisations. Not only are these products single-use, but their packaging (plastic PET bottles) clearly falls under legal definitions of what constitutes waste, even if they are sent down waste recycling streams.

Recyclable vs recycled

Whilst we celebrate their bottles becoming 100% recyclable (or so they say), we know there is a big difference between something being recyclable and being recycled. The reality is, even Coca-Cola accept that only a fraction of plastic bottles are recycled.

We believe this is greenwashing and is misleading for consumers, so we have made the decision to lodge a formal complain to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and we need you to do the same. Only if enough of us speak out against this type of greenwashing can we hope to put a stop to it.

We strongly feel the industry needs to be called out, particularly at a time when public concern around single-use plastic is at an all-time high.

Our CEO, Rebecca Burgess says; “The holidays are coming, along with the iconic Coca-Cola truck. But this year, Coca-Cola have taken a new tack when it comes to their marketing – tapping into public concern on single-use plastic and redefining the word to sell their products; misleading customers and setting a dangerous precedent in the industry. While they say their products can be recycled, we know that in reality, many are not. Plastic bottles are consistently the most polluting items on our beaches and rivers and Coca-Cola is the worst offender. We had no choice but to report these misleading claims to the ASA and we are encouraging others to do the same.”  

How big is this problem?

An estimated 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every single day in the UK and the MCS estimates that there are now more than 150 plastic bottles for every mile of beach in the UK.

We know that plastic bottles are consistently the most polluting items on our beaches and rivers and Coca-Cola is the worst offender.

Have your voice heard

Complaining to the ASA is really quick and easy.  We need Coca-Cola to be spending time and money transitioning away from single-use, to become part of the Refill Revolution and not on misleading advertising campaigns. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Click on the button below which will take you to their site. 
  2. Read the info and click continue.
  3. Select the option that shows that you are a member of the public submitting the complaint.
  4. Select 'Poster: Billboards, digital or transport' from the drop-down menu.
  5. Select 'Outdoor' from the drop-down menu.
  6. Add Cola Cola as the brand.
  7. Add either today's date (if you just saw the campaign today), or if you've seen it before then add the date you saw it.
  8. Either use our complaint as a template or write your own in the box.
  9. Download the image below to upload with your complaint. Or you can use this tweet from Coca-Cola.

#CallOutCoke on social media

If you agree with us that Coca-Cola should not be allowed to redefine what the phrase ‘single-use’ use means, then join us in calling out Coke on social media using the hashtag #CallOutCoke

What we’re calling for:

  • - Coca-Cola to withdraw its ads and stop trying to mislead the public about single-use plastic bottles;
  • - Coca-Cola to tackle the use of single-use plastic bottles by shift towards a comprehensive refill scheme
  • - The government to introduce a deposit scheme to ensure far more bottles are refilled – or failing that, recycled.
  • - The new government to introduce legislation to phase-out the use of all but the most essential single-use plastics
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Image of the Refill Team with Plastic Free Award Winner Logo

City to Sea wins Plastic Free Award

City to Sea picks up best ‘Reuse Award’ at the Plastic Free Awards for our Refill Campaign

Last week, City to Sea were awarded the ‘Reduce & Reuse Award’ for our Refill Campaign at the prestigious Plastic Free Awards. The awards, run by Surfers Against Sewage and Iceland, recognise champions from all walks of life. Including young campaigners, community leaders, small businesses, charities, designers, entrepreneurs, sports clubs and schools. All with a shared mission of stopping plastic pollution.

They were presented by environmental journalist and campaigner Lucy Siegal. And judged by a high-profile, expert panel including Ben Fogle, Liz Bonnin and Dr Paula Owen.

The Refill team holding the Reduce and Reuse Award

Reuse over single-use

We’re honoured to be recognised alongside so many pioneering businesses, not-for profits and individuals who are tirelessly campaigning to prevent plastic pollution. The Refill campaign was selected due to the work we are doing in championing reuse over single-use. And therefore providing practical solutions for some of the worst polluting single-use plastic items.

Refill is on track to have prevented over 100 million bottles by the end of 2019. And we’re now expanding to cover more than just drinking water. As a result, you’ll soon be able to use the free app to find out where to fill up your coffee-cup, lunch box, groceries and even toiletries and cleaning products. And with more than 250,000 app users we’ve got the potential to create a tipping point by make refilling the new norm.

A huge thank to each and everyone one of you!

Refill wouldn’t be possible without the on-going support from all of our partners. Including Water UK, Chilly’s Bottles and the Welsh Government. And we certainly couldn’t do what we do without our incredible community of volunteer led schemes and Refill stations who are the driving force for the #refillrevolution!

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Are you a good A**hole?

We need to talk to you about your a**hole. We know, we’re sorry!

The problem is, when trying to look after your a**hole, and the a**holes of those you love, many people are buying, using and incorrectly flushing wet wipes.

Today we’ve launched a new campaign to shine a light on the issue and find a way to tackle it.

What’s so bad about flushing wet wipes we hear you ask?

Most people think wet wipes break down like toilet paper when you flush them, but they don't!

When wet wipes are flushed down the loo, they caused huge blockages called fatbergs (which are made up of 93% of wet wipes). And it costs millions to clear up, contributing to plastic pollution in our oceans by blocking sewers and causing overspills of waste.

Wet wipes are now changing the shape of our rivers and polluting our beaches in terrifying numbers. One study found over 4,500 wet wipes on one 154m sq patch of foreshore - a rise of 700% over the last decade[1].

 

Did you know - most wet wipes are made of plastic?

The problem is, most people don’t even realise that wet wipes are mainly made up of plastic. Of the 11 billion wet wipes sold in the UK every year, 90% contain some form of plasticThe confusing packaging usually doesn’t even mention plastic!

As City to Sea’s founder, Natalie Fee says, “Let’s face it, the real a**holes are the manufacturers who are still not listing the actual material of the wipe on the ingredients list. This is making it hard for people to realise they’re potentially flushing plastic down the loo.”

Sorry to dump bad news on you like this, but it’s important and here in the UK, we don’t tend to like talking about poo, bums or anything else that happens behind that locked bathroom door (unless of course, it involves toilet humour).

Be a Good A**hole

This is why we’ve launched our new campaign - #BeAGoodAsshole. The campaign involves our very own talking a**hole, developed in partnership with Lord of The Rings actor, Andy Serkis and the creative agency Karmarama. That’s right – a very famous talking a**hole – that we hope will make a real splash!

In a short animation, our a**hole highlights the problem with flushing wet wipes and suggests that you might not need to use wet wipes in the first place.

Speaking on his involvement in the campaign, Andy Serkis explains, “All across the news we are seeing people take a stand to look after our planet. It’s time we all start taking responsibility for our actions and that starts with being a good a**hole. It’s only one tiny change we can all make which goes a long way in protecting our oceans. I didn’t think I’d ever feel so passionate to take on the role of a talking a**hole.”

Have a look and see what you think.

Ultimately our talking a**hole sends you to the campaign’s microsite www.beagoodasshole.com where you can share the animation and create your own a**hole profile picture.

While we would love you to spread the word with all the a**holes you know, the biggest thing we want you to do is this – try to not use wet wipes at all (toilet roll is fine), but if you do feel the need to use wet wipes, always put them in the bin and not down the toilet.

There is a golden rule here, whenever you’re on the bog make sure you only flush the 3P’s - pee, paper and poo.

It’s simple and could help solve a really crappy plastics problem.

 

References:

[1] http://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/gbbc/2016/GBBC_2016_Report.pdf

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‘Seb, Polly Planet & their Ocean Quest’

It’s a big week here at City to Sea HQ, as one of our original team members, and now in-house photographer and filmmaker, Michelle Cassar launches her first book today, for World Oceans Day Seb and Polly Planet on their Ocean Quest, a children’s book raising awareness of solutions to the issue of plastic pollution.

It’s a stunningly illustrated, and already highly acclaimed adventure story aimed at children age 5+ and is designed to empower them to live with less plastic. Through the magical adventures of daring Seb, children will learn about the effects of plastic pollution, and what they can do to prevent it. Rather than focus on recycling, this book takes a fresh approach; concentrating on the other three Rs – refuse, reduce and reuse. As you know, we need to ‘turn off the tap’ if we really want to prevent plastic pollution.

A bit about Michelle…

Michelle has been living with plastic a lot less (PALL) since 2008, it wasn’t always easy #BeingPALL. At that time, only a handful of people had woken up to plastic pollution and were doing something positive and solution focused – Michelle was one of them. Despite having struggled with writing and it taking over six years for her to find the confidence to write a blog, she’s now putting her 10 years of experience into a book so she can inspire the next generation!

One of many stunning illustrations by Create’eve Illustration based in Cornwall.

Never one to shy away from an opportunity

Michelle brings fun into preventing plastic pollution. She’s also known as Hydro Harriet, the Mermaid with a Message, and isn’t afraid to sit on a toilet with her knickers down in the high street to raise awareness of the issue of plastic flushed down our loos. She’s managed to turn a serious issue into something that children will engage with and we couldn’t be prouder!

Inspiring and hopeful, Seb and Polly Planet brings to life the difference one person can make by saying no to single-use plastic. An empowering, practical and fun read that will help readers grasp just how important they are and how their actions really can change the world.

NATALIE FEE – AUTHOR, AWARD-WINNING CAMPAIGNER AND FOUNDER OF CITY TO SEA

A book for everyone

Seb and Polly Planet book will appeal to parents, carers, grandparents, aunties and uncles, eco-schools, educators, community groups, and anyone interested in plastic pollution and environmental issues, who want to empower children to make good choices. Who doesn’t like a good rollicking superhero story?!

SEB, POLLY PLANET AND THEIR OCEAN QUEST.

Michelle’s crowdfunding…

Launching with a pre-order of the book via Crowdfunder , Michelle hopes to raise the funds to get this book on the shelves for more children to be inspired by.

Proceeds from the sale of Seb and Polly Planet and their Ocean Quest will be donated to a number of organisations preventing plastic pollution. Naturally, City To Sea will be one of the beneficiaries alongside the brilliant Plastic Oceans, UK, founded by Jo Ruxton and widely known for their multi-award-winning film on Netflix, and Plastic Free July founded by Rebecca Pruiz which has encouraged millions of individuals to commit to reducing their plastic use, in over 170 countries worldwide.

We’ve ordered our copies, now you can pre-order yours via crowdfunder, to get this book and it’s timely message into the hands of children and their carers everywhere.

A funny, heart-warming story of a little girl discovering that her actions make a difference to the lives of the beautiful birds and animals that live in our oceans. This hopeful book shows children (and their parents and teachers!) how they can save marine wildlife by making different everyday choices to stem the flow of plastic pollution going into the sea. I can’t wait to buy it for all the children in my life!

AMANDA KEETLEY – FOUNDER OF LESS PLASTIC | AUTHOR OF PLASTIC GAME CHANGER
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Race to champion anti-plastics in Premier League kicks off in earnest

As Tottenham Hotspurs plays their first home game in their long-awaited new stadium this evening, anti-plastic pollution campaigners at City to Sea are celebrating the news as the start of race to champion the anti-plastic pollution movement in the sports sector.

The new stadium is being heralded for having green credentials such as the complete elimination of all plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and all plastic disposable packaging that accompanies these items.  Equally, the club has a commitment to “to phasing out single-use plastics across all Club operations” as well as supporting school education programmes. These measures come alongside Newcastle United’s announcement this week that they will eliminate all plastic water bottles from their training ground saving an estimate 48,000 bottles a year.

Commenting ahead of the home game this evening against Crystal Palace, CEO of City to Sea, Rebecca Burgess said,

“The drive to eliminate plastic pollution by Premier League clubs is really kicking off this evening. Spurs have had this great opportunity through their new state of the art stadium to drive forward their efforts to eliminate plastic pollution at source. And it really feels like there is real competition now between the clubs for each to being doing more. This is a welcome competition. While each club are taking their own different steps forward, it is important to say that any action to tackle this problem is welcome. At City to Sea we can work with top clubs to help them go further faster.

Increasingly I think clubs are seeing that they can offer fans truly memorable match days experience without producing mountains of plastic pollution. With more than eight million tonnes of plastic thrown away each year, with much of it being washed out to sea, this is something that all clubs need to tackle.”

Photo by Nathan Rogers on Unsplash.

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