The Plastic Pollution Problem

8 million tonnes of litter is dumped in the oceans each year (Dr. J. Jambeck et al). Of course in Bristol plastic waste is not being dumped into the Avon or the Bristol Channel by waste management companies, but a significant amount of city litter is entering the Avon, through the sewers, smaller rivers and storm drains.

Fish and birdlife are starving on a diet of plastic bottle tops, earbuds, toothpicks, stirrers, lighters as demonstrated by the film Midway. They can fall down storm drains in city locations, especially when bins are emptied.

Larger mammals such as turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. Plastic bags also photosynthesis in the sun, depositing a thin film of particles in water which is also detrimental to the marine eco-system.

Take Personal Action

Litterpicks are great but there are plenty of ways that you can do your bit to stop plastic pollution at it's source, by making different consumer choices and inspiring colleagues, friends and families.

Plastic Bottles & Bottle Tops

  • Get into the habit of taking a reusable bottle out and about #Refill and refresh for free! Rather than buy bottled water.


When you next run out buy paper or bamboo alternatives, and remember; don't flush them down the loo! 

Plastic coffee lids & stirrers

  • Refuse a lid where possible
  • Invest in a reusable cup
  • Take the time to sit in and enjoy the coffee in a washable mug


  • When you order a drink, say 'No straw please!'.
  • At home, invest in reusable metal straws.
  • Most people are happy to drink from a glass. Or for a party, buy paper straws. 

Disposable Cutlery

Carry your own set or a handy spork (spoon/fork in one)

Plastic Bags

  • Choose to refuse bags, even the small ones.
  • Carry a reusable tote bag with you.
  • Biodegradable bags are not the solution as they break down quicker into the smaller particles