Plastic and its negative ecological impact By Sarah Dodds
Over the past couple of years, I too have found myself swept up in the tide of new information and awareness on the topic of plastic and its negative ecological impact. It’s great to see it becoming more at the forefront of conversation across the media and society in general.
Through my volunteer work as Head of Fundraising for London Wave Project, I have seen first-hand the impact that our throwaway culture has caused. Picking up piles of plastic rubbish on our beach trips with the kids really brought home the scale of the problem.
We learnt that an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste leaks into the ocean every year. 8 million tons!
I think that until we engage the public, especially people living in the inner city, with a love for nature and our oceans, we will have a tough time persuading them to really care about looking after them. That’s what we are trying to do with our most recent fundraiser. We hope to raise awareness of how easy it is to access the different beautiful water locations in London, from Hampstead Ponds to the more recently opened Beckenham Lake. Granted it is very cold at this time of year… but also makes you feel so alive!
One other series of events I would really recommend to anyone interested in protecting the ocean (in particular against things like microplastics/ microfibres), is the SHiFT sessions on ocean plastics. These are events organised by Emily Penn, an inspirational ocean advocate who has dedicated her working life to raising awareness about how we can tackle these issues. These events bring together people from all walks of life that have a passion for the ocean. The scale of the problem can sometimes seem overwhelming but if everyone makes small changes, like switching from plastic to bamboo cutlery for example! You can feel like you are doing something positive, and this positive change inevitability leads to more education and awareness of the situation.
Here at the Wave Project we also hope to educate the children about the effects of plastic in the ocean through our Ocean education sessions. We do this alongside using surf therapy as a method of tackling mental health issues and supporting children and young people that are facing additional challenges. If you would like to get involved as a volunteer/ or are even inspired to join us on our cold water fundraising journey (!) please email email@example.com and send us some information about yourself and how you can get involved.
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