Preventing Plastic Pollution, an Interreg France Channel England-funded project is part of the Tokyo 2020 adventure!
A flyer produced on its behalf was included in Team GB’s Olympic kit bags, encouraging British athletes to become plastic pollution prevention ambassadors.
This initiative is the result of a collaboration between project Preventing Plastic Pollution, the Environment Agency and the Big Plastic pledge, founded by Olympic Champion in sailing and Team GB flagbearer Hannah Mills.
The Big Plastic pledge is a global campaign supported by the International Olympic Committee addressing the issue of plastic pollution and aiming to combat single-use plastic in sport.
The flyer features the Preventing Plastic Pollution ‘Make Your Pledge’ initiative, with three key messages for the Team GB athletes – make one simple change, like using a bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic varieties, shout about their preventing plastic pollution support, and use their position as worldwide role models to influence others.
Before her departure for Tokyo, Olympic Champion and Team GB flagbearer Hannah Mills said: “It’s great to have this message in the Team GB kit bags. I believe through the power of sport, we can change the fate of our planet.”
The mission of cross-border project Preventing Plastic Pollution is to understand and reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment. Preventing Plastic Pollution is developing a conceptual catchment model to identify sources of plastic pollution in seven pilot sites across the Channel area. It also creates awareness on plastic pollution among various communities and industries and organises litter pick events.
One of its biggest initiatives to date has been its ‘Pick a Pledge’ campaign, which encourages businesses and members of the public to make some small changes in their everyday habits, that together can make a huge difference for tackling plastic pollution.
Carolyn Reid, Programme Manager, Interreg France (Channel) England programme said: “We are extremely proud to see plastic pollution highlighted as a key issue at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Thank you to Olympic champion Hannah Mills for getting behind the Preventing Plastic Pollution project and using her platform to inspire many other people around the world to make a small change that collectively can have a huge impact in protecting our planet.”
Environment Agency project officer Hannah Amor said: “Everyone has a part to play in minimising the amount of avoidable plastic they use. It is estimated that 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the environment each year – that is a bin lorry load every minute. If everyone kicks plastic out of sport and is kinder to our planet, we could see this staggering figure reduce, helping to protect our wellbeing and wildlife for generations to come.”
Through the European Green Deal and its Plastics strategy, the European Union aims to be at the forefront of the global fight against plastic pollution. It is estimated that 50% of EU marine litter is single-use plastics. The EU Directive on single-use plastics which recently entered into force, aims to prevent 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Preventing Plastic Pollution is led by Queen Mary University of London and involves 17 other partners in England and France. The project has a total budget of €14.3m of which €9.9m is funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme.