Meet the challengers

Below, some of our plastic challengers share their experiences of the challenge

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Emily Smith, Lambeth

After our Sea Champion volunteer Emily Smith gave up plastics for Lent in 2013 and raised over £700 for MCS in doing so, she threw down the challenge to others to do the same, and so the Plastic Challenge was born.

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Catherine Gemmell, MCS Scotland Conservation Officer

After moving to a brand new city the Plastic Challenge is a great way for me to explore the different places I can do my shopping instead of just relying on my closest supermarket.

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Haley Cheek, Herefordshire

I’ve always wanted to do something like the Plastic Challenge but could never bring myself to be fully dedicated, simply out of pure laziness and lack of initiative. Now I’m feeling really positive to be joining so many people experiencing the same challenge.

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Jules Agate, MCS Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager

My first year of the plastic challenge was also my first year of attending lots of events on behalf of MCS. Providing food for yourself, and a group of people attending a course or a meeting, is extremely challenging to do single-use-plastic-free! Luckily lots of people were happy to enter into the spirit of it and bring along their own sandwiches (not cling-film wrapped).

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Kate Wilson, Herefordshire

This started off being a really difficult challenge, but once you get into it and get yourself organised, it gets much easier. I started off in the bathroom, and found I could replace almost everything I normally use with plastic free alternatives after a quick visit to Lush.

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Stephanie Barnicoat, Truro

At first, I thought it would be easy to go without single use plastics, but I found it very difficult. Without plastic, I am very limited in what I can buy from supermarkets. There are items I can’t have such as crisps and a lot of my favourite chocolate bars, but thankfully I can still have Cadbury’s Creme Eggs!

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Elspeth Owens, London

To me, this challenge is about asking people to focus on the unnecessary plastic in our lives. The plastic packaging that your apples are wrapped in just so that you can carry them to the till, where you put them inside another plastic bag to take them home, before you throw the plastic wrapping away. To me, that use of plastic is unnecessary, and that is what we are trying to eliminate.

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Trevor Morton, Cumbria

The thing that really made me think about our misuse of plastics was when I received a phone case through the post that I’d ordered online. The protective casing is a fantastic use of an innovative material, but there was a shameful amount of plastic packaging.

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