- An independent survey commissioned bySky Ocean Rescue has found that 87% of Brits are concerned by the UK’s plastic usage and 66% are willing to see a similar 5p plastic bag ‘charge’ applied to other single-use plastics* such as straws, bottles and cups.
The research highlights a growing awareness around the issue of ocean health and a desire from the public to see behaviour change, including incentives to discourage plastic usage, as over eight million tonnes of plastic pollution continues to enter the ocean globally every year.**
In a bid to further drive awareness and inspire members of the public to make changes to their own plastic consumption, a 10 metre whale made of plastic bags, bottles and other single-use plastics pulled from the ocean, beach cleans and local recycling plants is being unveiled in London’s Potters Field today as part of the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign.
The whale, made from the same amount of plastic that pollutes the ocean every second**, brings to life the scale of the problem and will travel from London through England, Wales and Scotland, visiting iconic beach and water front locations as well as city centres. The tour will also give members of the public tips on small and easy changes - from using a refillable plastic bottle, to saying no to straws and plastic bags – to help reduce their own plastic consumption. More details are available at skyoceanrescue.com.
Group Chief Executive of Sky, Jeremy Darroch, said, “Sky is truly committed to raising awareness and encouraging people to change the way they consume single-use plastics to help save our oceans. Research tells us that almost 90% of Brits are also concerned with plastic usage in the UK. Through the Plastic Whale Tour we want to highlight how easy it is to make small changes that can have a real and measurable impact.”
Supporting Sky Ocean Rescue and the Plastic Whale Tour, CEO of the Marine Conservation Society, Sandy Luk, said, "The Plastic Whale Tour is timed perfectly to highlight some of the huge issues our seas face right now. Our research repeatedly finds items such as plastic drinks bottles, wrappers and bags on UK beaches. So much of this has been used just once and thrown away. Small charges on packaging items, and deposit return systems can help bring the problem under control and we are pleased to work in partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue to bring awareness to the issue and advise on how to make simple changes that can have a big impact.”
Also championing the issue of ocean health and the launch of the tour are Sir Ranulph Fiennes, one of the world’s great explorers who has seen first-hand just how far plastic waste can travel around the globe, and Jodie Kidd, former supermodel and passionate supporter of the oceans.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes said: “I’ve explored some of the most remote and vast points of the world and yet still witnessed the reach of ocean pollution. Between 1979 and 1982 my team completed the first surface circumpolar navigation of Earth and during both the Atlantic and the Pacific voyages we witnessed the amount of pollution, much of which was plastic and that was just on the surface. It is vital that we all take action to protect our oceans and we must act now before the scale of this problem heightens further. Simple changes to everyday life are easy to do and give us the chance to prevent further damage. We all use plastic but we have to think beyond ourselves and save our beautiful and important seas. I’m pledging my support and hope others will follow.”
Jodie Kidd added: “There is nothing I enjoy more than being on or by the water – sailing, rowing, on holiday – and it terrifies me that our beautiful oceans are being destroyed. As a mother I want my son to grow up in a world where oceans are vast and beautiful, not damaged and under threat. It is vital that we all make changes, even in the smallest of ways, to help save our oceans. I really encourage everyone to find out more about the issues affecting our oceans and how you can become an #OceanHero by joining in the conversation on the Sky Ocean Rescue Facebook page or visit skyoceanrescue.com.”
Find out more about the Plastic Whale Tour and the issues affecting our oceans at the Sky Ocean Rescue Facebook page, @skyoceanrescue on Twitter, or visit skyoceanrescue.com.
About Sky Ocean Rescue
As Europe’s leading entertainment company, Sky want to use their voice and potential reach to inspire people to take action to protect our planet, raising awareness of how plastics and other pollution are affecting our oceans. Sky Ocean Rescue is the environmental campaign, part of the Bigger Picture which also inspires the new generation through the power of sport, and invests further in creativity and diversity in our industry to make a difference.