Image: Right to Left at the 26th April 2013 Kent beach clean, organised by the MCS: Philip Watkins past BPF President; Dick Searle, Chief Executive the Packaging Federation; Peter Davis, Director-General the British Plastics Federation
In response to the publication of the Marine Conservation Society’s report on a 2013 beach clean and survey, the British Plastics Federation has reinforced the message that the industry fully supports fining individuals who litter the marine environment.
The report found that that the number of litter items per kilometre of beach has increased, with plastic pieces strongly in evidence. However, less plastic bottles, crisp bags and sweet wrappers were found.
“My colleagues and I have taken part in MCS Beach cleans and surveys and seen for ourselves the extent of the problem,” said Peter Davis, Director-General of the British Plastics Federation.
“The plastics industry does not litter beaches or dump waste at sea. We don’t want used plastics littered or landfilled we want it back for recycling. There should be zero tolerance towards littering behaviour. Fines should be enforced and more litter bins provided.”
Davis is the spokesperson for the ‘Plastics 2020 Challenge’, an initiative launched in the UK in 2009 designed to challenge industry, consumers and Government to prevent the landfilling and littering of plastics by 2020. The initiative has sponsored a scheme operated by the Marine Conservation Society to encourage school children to recycle bottles in return for sports kits made from the recycled material.
“We want to work with all stakeholders to prevent plastics entering the marine environment. We strongly support the Marine Conservation Society’s Marine Litter Action Network being launched in June and intend to play a full part, finding ways to reduce marine litter,” Davis added.
He outlined current activities undertaken by the plastics industry to prevent plastics in marine litter, including ‘Operation Clean Sweep’, a pledge by major UK plastics companies to prevent plastic pellets and powder being lost into the environment, as well as international action by the BPF, which has seen the association sign a ‘Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter”, which outlines a six-point strategy for industry action.