Staff and trustees of the Marine Conservation Society were joined by colleagues who work in other offices, at Overross House, Ross Park, Ross-on-Wye.
Kate Wilson who works for MCS said the event was a big thank you to everyone who had made their plastic free month challenge such a success. She said: “They have been amazing, and it was also a chance to meet people who work in the other offices.”
One of these was Harriet Murray Jones, who works at Harrison Clark Rickerbys and is mainly involved in renewable energy work. She told the Ross Gazette that she was already very aware of the plastic challenge through social media and decided to take part. She said the hardest aspect has been shopping for food at the supermarket, and she has organised two birthday parties during her 30 day challenge. She said: “That was impossible, but overall the challenge has made us think of differnet options.”
She that the whole family has become more aware and when they purchased a take away recently they took their own reusable containers for the shop to fill.
Kate explained that the Plastic Challenge has grown from an idea by one volunteer who tried to give up single use plastic for Lent in 2012.
She said that the folloing year the charity suggested it for their other volunteers and in 2014 it was opened to the public.
Since then the number of people taking part has grown. Last year just over 1,000 people took part, but this year 5,035 registered to give up using single use plastic, which includes plastic water bottles, shower gels and pasta.
This year more than 5,000 people agreed to try to live plastic free for 30 days. However, Kate said: “This is so hard, so what we really want is for people to try to give up plastic as much as they can.” She said it is all about raising awareness. When people are shopping they talk about it to other shoppers, shop assistants, even the manager. The hardest things to replace are dried goods like pasta, milk and toilet paper.
The 2017 Plastic Challenge has been the most successful yet and the charity said that it shows there is a growing understanding of the effect plastic pollution is having on our oceans.
To read the full story, please see this week’s edition of the Ross Gazette.