19th January 2018
From our Animal Management Students.
We are writing to you to help raise awareness of plastic pollution and the effect it is having on the environment worldwide. It is affecting wildlife, wildlife habitats and even humans. We have seen first-hand the effects of plastic pollution on wildlife through the work of our Animal Rescue Centre and also cases seen by our tutor who volunteers with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Animals can die from becoming entangled in plastic or ingesting plastic. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, but instead breaks down into tiny plastic pieces. These plastic pieces have a high surface area and absorb toxins and pollutants from the surrounding water. These poisonous pollutants accumulate up the food chain, and up to the seafood that we eat! It is thought that if a person eats 6 oysters they will have ingested 50 pieces of micro-plastic. It is also thought that by 2050, oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight!
We really feel like we need to take steps now to reduce single use plastics and stop the flow of this plastic pollution into our environment. Main offenders include coffee cups and lids, plastic drinking cups, plastic straws and stirrers, plastic bottles, plastic cutlery, condiment sachets, plastic bags, plastic “food on the go” packaging and balloons. Removing the option to purchase and/or use single-use plastics is the easiest way to avoid them. Making suitable, sustainable alternatives readily available to customers will bring about a change in behaviour and reduce the amount of throw-away plastic in our society.
We urge all of our local businesses to identify at least three single-use plastic items and find suitable alternatives.
Lots of suggestions are available on the SAS (Surfers Against Sewage) website www.sas.org.uk.
By opting to support the movement to help our town become single use plastic free you can be provided with the Plastic Free Coastlines ‘Stamp of Approval’ and receive good PR which will drive custom from supporting members of the public more likely to spend in Plastic Free businesses.
Yours faithfully, Kendal College Animal Management Students