Ocean Plastics Awareness Day: Royal Couple To Support Solutions To Protect Beautiful Beaches in Cornwall From Marine Litter

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 20 July 2015

Ocean Plastics Awareness Day: Royal Couple To Support Solutions To Protect Cornwall’s Beautiful Beaches From Marine Litter MCS received a visit from Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall today, when the royal couple visited Fistral beach as part of their summer visit to Cornwall.

Ocean Plastics Awareness Day: Royal Couple To Support Solutions To Protect Cornwall’s Beautiful Beaches From Marine Litter MCS received a visit from Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall today, when the royal couple visited Fistral beach as part of their summer visit to Cornwall. The beach stop was for an Ocean Plastics Awareness Day event organised by MCS together with Surfers Against Sewage and Clean Cornwall. The event brought together around 30 key players in the fight against litter on our beaches, especially from Cornish companies and communities. It was a real endorsement for the work that we all do both individually and collectively with our many volunteers and partners. The Prince and the Duchess were particularly concerned about the problem of microplastics entering our seas, through routine use of cosmetic and cleaning products. They were shown a bathroom suite, complete with a bather in a bathtub filled with plastic “beads”. They were also shown plastic items taken from the stomach of a fulmar. The take home message for the couple was very definitely that pollution can cause harm, but that there are uses for plastics beyond an initial single use. Several representatives of companies and groups signed a Statement of Intent, in the Prince’s presence, committing to explore, develop and deliver innovative circular economy pilot projects where waste is used as a valuable resource rather than a burden. Sam Fanshawe, MCS Chief Executive says “For over two decades, Marine Conservation Society volunteers have recorded a rising tide of rubbish - with plastic litter rising by over 180% since we began surveys in 1994. There is a huge collective effort in Cornwall to reduce litter and keep Cornwall’s world-class beaches clean. We want to work with businesses, government and community groups to come up with innovative solutions to this unnecessary, unsightly and harmful waste. As President of the Marine Conservation Society, HRH The Prince of Wales has shown unstinting support for the volunteer effort to clean up our seas and beaches and encourage industry sectors to support a circular economy. Ø HRH The Prince of Wales has long taken an interest in the health of the marine environment and the need to address waste. The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit has attempted to integrate conversations on marine plastic waste with those focusing on the circular economy at a global level. The activities taking place in Cornwall showcase what can be done to address waste locally. Cornwall has some of the most beautiful beaches and countryside in the UK. However, all too often these are blighted by litter, much of which is plastic. There are already some great examples of recycling and recovery projects in Cornwall that contribute to the circular economy, such as the Kimo Fishing for Litter scheme, fishing net recycling projects and the Finisterre bottles to clothing initiative. Used as models of best practice, these and other schemes, showcased on Ocean Plastics Awareness Day, could then be rolled out in other parts of the country. Read full press release.

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