They axed the plastic tax

In case you didn’t catch the news, on the 30th Nov Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the UK will introduce a new plastic tax on the *manufacture and import* of plastic packaging that contains *less than 30% recycled* plastic during his Autumn Budget speech. It won’t be implemented for another four years and that’s subject to (another) consultation.

So not a visible tax on single-use items, like coffee cups, at point of sale, like you and almost a quarter of a million people asked for through this petition. And 31% of you went on to respond to HM Treasury’s consultation seeking views on tackling the single-use plastic issue – which had the highest government consultation response rate EVER in government history.

Despite your efforts, and our attempt to persuade the government to take meaningful action on plastic pollution now, they have chosen to ignore us. For now at least. Our sense is that this set-back in England creates political space for devolved governments in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to take the lead. Again.

(When England said no to the 5p bag charge, the Welsh government went and did it anyway, followed by Northern Ireland, then Scotland. Finally Westminster got with the programme … and plastic bag use has since gone down by 86%.)

If you want to hear more, have a quick watch of my video response on Facebook or Twitter here.

 

Thanks for your support – the fight doesn’t stop here!

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National Refill Day

Here at City to sea, our Refill campaign has been heads down, bottles up 🙃

To say that 2018 has been a big year for Refill would be an understatement, not only for the Refill project but for us, the City to Sea team behind the campaign. Following our partnership with Water UK, the project has gone from [take deep breath here] a grass-roots, after-work, spare time, experimental extravaganza to a globally recognised, award-winning campaign reaching hundreds of thousands of individuals and communities across the UK and abroad.

It’s enough to make all our mums proud.

So to celebrate we’ve created National Refill Day. Yep, a whole national day! And we have a new Refill app …

We hope you can join us.

Use your refillable bottle and share on social media with the hashtags #RefillRevolution #NationalRefillDay and together, let’s create a ripple of Refill love across the nation!

Read more about National Refill Day and our new app here …

 

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Your signature is needed!

We’re calling for a tax on plastic

Our latest petition with 38 Degrees has over 240,000 signatures! Is yours on it? It needs you!

We’re asking the government to introduce a visible tax on throwaway (single use) plastic. Such as coffee cups, pint cups, cutlery  and take away  polystyrene at the point of sale, like the current plastic bag charge. YOU can sign it here.

People ask:

Why charge the customer? We pay enough taxes, the retailers should be held responsible!

Indeed they should, but if the charge went to the retailers experts suggest all they would do is hike up their prices, the consumer would still pay – unknowingly – and it would be business as usual with millions of single use items being used every day.

Millions of sinlge-use plastic items are used in the UK everyday

The levvy is an incentive for people to be able to refuse the charge, along with the item. Just like the plastic bag charge, which has seen an 80% reduction at large retailers where the charge is applicable.

It will also bring the conversation of plastic pollution into the wilder realm. Yes ten million people watched Blue Planet II, but that’s 60 million who didn’t. Sir David Attenborough has been talking about it all over the media, but when we look around in the ‘real world’ it’s clear to see, some places still give out ‘take away’ cups to sit in, more needs to be done!

Just days ago “The Sun revealed that Mr Hammond had privately blasted Mr Gove’s radical approach to cutting plastic waste – arguing that it wrongly targets consumers.” You can read The Sun article here.

This petition needs YOU to get behind it before the Budget, to stand behind Micheal Gove and let the government know this could prevent millions of tons of single use plastics entering our waste stream.

Read the full petition text and sign it here. A last minute rise in signatures may just be what it needs to make it happen, there’s still time to get the conversation on the table where it matters most …. and then in that suitcase!

Header photo by rawpixel on Unsplash. Cup photo by Sagar Chaudhray on Unsplash

Find out what happened in our latest blog post here. 
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We’re hiring!

We’re hiring!!!

  • Are you passionate about tackling plastic pollution and eager to make a difference?
  • Do you have experience working with partners to elevate campaigns, brands organisations?
  • Are you a natural networker who builds relationships fast?
  • Are you a persuasive and can-do individual whose solutions focused and proactive?
  • Are you confident managing partner expectations and encouraging them to do more?
  • Do you thrive in a fast-moving, agile environment?
  • Are you able to prioritise a busy workload to ensure you’re having the greatest impact?
  • Are you an excellent communicator who is able to influence a wide range of people with

    tact?

If you’ve answered yes to all the above, or you have a friend who will … you might be the one we’re seeking! Follow the link for the full job description and how to apply.

We look forward to hearing from you, good luck!

Partnership Manager Job Description

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Plastic Free July

In 2011 Rebecca Prince-Ruiz visited a recycling center in her home town of Perth Australia. She learnt there and then that we simply can not recycle out of our way of of plastic pollution, and for her there was only one answer. Reduction, significant reduction!

On the return to her office at the local council, Rebecca challenged her colleagues to ditch single use plastic for just one month, it just so happened to be July coming up and so #PlasticFreeJuly was launched.

Fast forward seven years and millions of people around the globe are taking part and are adopting new habits, some of which last and become life changers. Some have become successful bloggers and authors sharing their knowledge even further. (see the bottom of this post)

Plastic Free July 2017:

  • 2+ million participants  from 159 countries worldwide (and doubling every year)
  • 90% of participants made some change in their way of life
  • 8% reduction in household waste generated
  • 2,000 organisations and businesses participated

The Plastic Free July website is packed full of tips to help where ever you live.

Please register on their site so they can add you to the growing number of people getting involved. It’s always great to know there’s other people ditching single use plastic, and their facebook page is a great place to go if you’re needing some moral support!

In 2015 we were lucky enough for Rebecca to visit Bristol. Her and Michelle, our Creative Director had been in contact for years online, so Rebecca scheduled a trip to Bristol to meet Michelle as part of her Winston Churchill Fellowship so she could let others know initiatives happening around the globe.

Michelle showed Rebecca around, on bikes, they had a lovely day, it’s Bristol, of course they did! Sharing amazing things happening in the City, doing a river clean, helping out with a road traffic accident (not on the agenda!)

Rebecca loved #Refill (it was in 2016 before our Switch the Stick and #PlasticFreePeriod success) and she took the word of it back to Australia.

Check our Michelle’s blog post for a full gallery of pictures.

Want six simply Summer tips for Plastic Free July? Head here!

Please get aboard #PlasticFreeJuly, sign up and do let us know how you get on, we love hearing from you!

 

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Six Summer tips for Plastic Free July

1. Ditch the plastic tubes of sunscreen. It’s becoming easier to find plastic free alternatives, our friends at The Plastic Free Shop have some here: Plastic Free Sunscreen.

2. Carry some reusable straws with you so when you cool down after a hot summers day, you can slurp away without a plastic straw. Alternatively, order your drinks with no straws! (“I’ll have a G&T, and hold the straw.”)

3. Getting an ice cream? Opt in for the cone and not the cup, and skip the spatula.

4. Use a search engine to find plastic free alternatives. If you get stuck for something just search for a plastic free substitute! For example ‘Plastic free beach toys’.  Check out this directory, founded in 2006 Plastic is Rubbish has done the searching for you!

5. Refill! Not downloaded our app yet?! Find your nearest Refill station, Refill and collect points. And we all know what points make, prizes!  You can download the app here.

6. Take Your Own Minibar.
No we don’t mean booze. You can save so much #pointlessplastic by simply refusing to use the miniature hotel toiletries. Pack your bar of soap, your solid shampoo bars, sun creams that come in neat, reusable metal tins (see tip 1!) and take some coconut oil as moisturiser. And if you want to take it a step further, tweet your hotel and tell them to ditch the single-use plastics and refill instead!

WIN!

To win this beautiful Summer set, kindly donated to us by The Plastic Free Shop simply share what you’re up to for Plastic Free July over social media, tag us in and use the hashtags #PlasticFreeJuly and #RiseOfTheReusable.

Find our social media pages on your preferred platform here: Twitter Facebook Instagram remember to tag us in! (competition closes 31st July 2018 there is only one lucky winner…)

 

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Refill Wins Gold at the Global Good Awards

It wasn’t just our Refill team that were over the moon about winning gold for ‘Best Behaviour Change’ at this years Global Good Awards. Refill’s huge network of supporters, Local Champions and Partners had just as big of a smile and we couldn’t have done it without them.

Global Good Awards began with a personal journey of someone realising how important environmental work is. Karen Sutton (GGA’s founder and CEO) was inspired by what organisations of all sizes were doing in their communities, for their people, for the planet and for their bottom line. Karen doesn’t just run an awards programme; she is committed to promoting change.

At City to Sea, we are strong believers in empowering individuals to create global impact. With such a personal founding story of the Global Good Awards it wasn’t hard for us to feel at home on their list of nominees.

🏅🎉 Little did we know that we would take HOME Gold 🎉🏅

We’d like to thank the organisers at Global Good Awards, our Refill Programme Manager Gus Hoyt, the Refill team, all of our wonderful Local Champions and Refill Schemes, and our Partners. We said it before but we will say it again, we couldn’t have done it without you!

We’d also like to extend a huge thank you and applause to all the other amazing organisations that took part in this years ceremony. We find a never ending source of inspiration and enjoyment from the work that you do to fight these important environmental issues we face.

For more info on our Refill campaign visit www.refill.org.uk

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Michelle promts TGI Friday’s to ditch straws!

City to Sea’s Creative Director Michelle Cassar was the first to speak to the CEO of TGI Friday’s about their plastic straw usage. That conversation helped prompt their actions to remove plastic straws at Friday’s UK.

With over 80 restaurants, serving literally thousands of people on a daily basis, this is a huge victory for preventing plastic pollution – at source!

So, why was Michelle working in TGI Friday’s, a huge high street chain?  When we were starting out at City to Sea it was all hands on deck, but we didn’t have much in the way of budget coming in. So after 15 years Michelle, our in-house photographer video-maker went back to waiting tables. Which was a shock to the system, she remembered it being easy?!

From the first meeting TGIs knew Michelle was preventing plastic pollution, they welcomed her to the team and gave her all the flexibility she needed to work on City to Sea. It also gave her the opportunity to encourage change, on a massive scale. So when Karen Forrester, the CEO was paying a store visit Michelle made sure she was there to chat with her. She then followed up that conversation with her manager, area manager and the right people at HQ.

There’s always more large restaurants can do, but this is a fantastic start and may prompt other large chains to follow, and TGI Friday’s across the globe … How can they not?!

It’s a good example of how conversations, with the right people really can inspire massive change. Aim high, and watch as plastic pollution prevention ripples out …

Read more about it here. 

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‘Switch the Stick’ success film

Our ‘Switch the Stick’ petition success with 38 Degrees has got others thinking …

Rob Greenfield, is an American adventurer, environmental activist, humanitarian, and dude making a difference. He is dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable and just world.

When he recently meet Michelle, our Creative Director she told him of ‘Switch the Stick’ and the success it had, (In case you don’t know) with all the major UK retailers pledging to switch their cotton bud sticks from plastic to paper by the end of 2017.

Straight away he wanted to make a film about it to spread the word. So him and Michelle did just that, with nearly a million views on Facebook the word really is getting out.

Check it out, and then share it to share the good news! 🙂

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Our latest video tops 1.4 million views in a week!

 

Our latest film ‘Plastic-Free Periods?’ Is flying over on facebook with 1.4 MILLION views in a week! With no signs of slowing down, we’re over the moon to be getting the word out about plastic in menstrual products, whilst also letting people know not to flush them.

Did you know ….

Our aim is to raise awareness of correct disposal methods, while educating viewers on the amount of ‘hidden’ plastic in disposable menstrual products.  We give recommendations for to try reusable menstrual products like menstrual cups or cloth pads instead – products we’re personally big fans of – or swapping to plastic-free organic disposables.

We ‘bin’ the word ‘sanitary’.

We also took the decision to become the first campaign group to not to use the word ‘sanitary’ in the film to promote a language shift that is starting to emerge when talking about periods.

#PeriodPositive founder and menstruation education researcher, Chella Quint says, “The word ‘sanitary’ has been used by major multinational corporations for decades – some of the first ads for pads and tampons used this euphemism to promote their products and ‘save’ us from being ‘unsanitary’. It’s an echo of attitudes that are already starting to change in a big way. Continuing to refer to menstrual products ‘sanitary products’ subtly carries on old taboos around periods being shameful or making you ‘unclean’. Role-modelling this language shift is a great choice by City to Sea. It marks a new focus on openness and sustainability, and the industry needs to take notice.”

We’ve chosen to direct the message at everyone with decision-making power around menstrual waste, including women, trans men and nonbinary people who get periods, plus parents and carers of disabled menstruators.

Watch and share the film here to get the flow-down on plastic-free periods!

And remember, only pee, paper and poo goes down the loo!

 

 

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