New campaign asks single-use plastic purchasers to ‘Donate Your Guilt’

Date posted: 1 August 2019

MCS has today launched an impactful new campaign inviting people to ‘Donate Your Guilt’ when they slip up and buy single-use plastic items.

What better way to get us all to remember the cost to the environment of unnecessary plastic, than by making us think through our purses and wallets. We all feel a bit guilty when we forget our re-usable bags, bottles and mugs, but we are all human – even the most committed of us slip up sometimes.

Mike Crossley,
MCS Director of Fundraising and Marketing

Dreamt up by creative agency BBH on a pro-bono basis and made possible by Ocean Outdoor, the campaign will be visible in cities across the UK, with billboards at Westfield London, Bullring Birmingham, as well as in Manchester and Edinburgh and on social media. The striking imagery asks passers-by if they’ve forgotten their reusable items and features single-use plastic coffee cups and water bottles floating in water.

The ads urge people to “Donate your Guilt” with a £3 text donation which will be used to support MCS’s work in protecting our seas and oceans and running the annual citizen science survey, the Great British Beach Clean.

The campaign isn’t designed to let people off the hook when they forget their re-usable items, but to encourage a behavioural change. Acting as a ‘swear box for the oceans’, MCS hopes that by making us think through our purses and wallets that the campaign will be a reminder not to buy single-use plastic every day if they can avoid it.

MCS Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Mike Crossley said: “What better way to get us all to remember the cost to the environment of unnecessary plastic, than by making us think through our purses and wallets. We all feel a bit guilty when we forget our re-usable bags, bottles and mugs, but we are all human – even the most committed of us slip up sometimes.”

Jon  Peppiatt, Chairman at BBH, said: “We have been very happy to give our time to help MCS with this campaign. It’s such an important issue that I believe we all care about but we need to do more, hopefully this work will help change some behaviours and make a difference.” 

MCS has run a series of highly successful campaigns in recent years which have led to policy changes by governments across the UK. The charity called for a plastic bag charge to discourage single-use plastic bag usage and led calls for a money-back recycling system – known as a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) - for glass and plastic drinks bottles and cans which is being introduced in Scotland and is currently under consideration in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.   

Crossley added: “As a charity, we and our volunteers dedicate our time to cleaning up and protecting our beaches, seas and wildlife. We hope our campaign will have an impact on people’s behaviour in a way which will have a lasting impact and at the same time will allow us to continue our work through valuable donations.” 

Keep an eye out for the billboards across the UK over the next two weeks and don’t forget to take your re-usable items with you! Do you want to take part? ‘Donate Your Guilt’ here.

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