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Marine litter event to lead to “coordinated plan” to tackle plastic waste

THE British Plastics Federation (BPF) has held a marine litter event in London, featuring a range of key stakeholders, with the aim of working together to stop plastic waste from entering seas and oceans.

Retailers, entrepreneurs, plastic firms, policy advisors and marine pollution experts were among those in attendance at the event, held at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) opposite the Houses of Parliament.

The BPF said it will lead to a “coordinated plan” to drastically reduce litter finding its way into the marine environment.

Barry Turner, director of the BPF’s plastic and flexible packaging group said, “We were blown away with the response from the invited audience and the British Plastics Federation looks forward to working with all partners over the coming months and years. This is a first step toward making a real difference and helping to stop the flow of litter into our oceans.”

Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, who presented at the event added, “The message about the positive impact that the effective use of plastic packaging can have is currently being drowned out by those who would like to see restrictions. It was good to see the sector come together to share best practice and importantly demonstrate the joint approach to reduce the amount of material that is wasted.”

Gavin Ellis (Hubbub) and Tracy Phipps (Brighton and Hove City Council) co-presented the #StreetsAhead campaign which was launched to clean up litter in Brighton and Hove. Lee Wray-Davies (Keep Britain Tidy) introduced the audience to the education initiative “Eco Schools” in which children develop local approaches to tackling waste.

David Katz (The Plastic Bank) and Zoë Lenkiewicz (Waste Aid) spoke separately about their work with local communities to help re-purpose plastic litter in the developing world.

Professor Richard Thompson, a marine litter expert from the University of Plymouth said, “It is not the materials that are the problem, but how we choose to use them.”

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