Plastic Free Scilly

Monday 11th December 2017

On Friday 8th December 2017 the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust announced that Comms Officer, Nikki, has been accepted as a Community Leader with the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Coastlines. The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust's work over the past few years, raising awareness of plastics and our marine environment, has started to gain momentum and community support coinciding brilliantly with the launch of Plastic Free Coastlines.

Plastic Free Coastlines is a national project, co-ordinated by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) in response to Wasteland, their campaign which brings to life the very real concerns about the amount of plastic in the marine environment.

Here in Scilly we know only too well about the amount of man-made debris in our seas; every walk along the beach, every stroll around the coastline, every big storm shows us something new and sees us having to deal with more.

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust has been advocating and organising beach cleans and encouraging people to reduce their use of single-use plastic and recycle for some time now; but sometimes living on an Island can complicate matters and make it slightly harder.

Lots of individuals and businesses are also doing their bit and it's something that we, as a community, really should be proud of and shouting about, whilst recognising that we can still do more.

We hope that Plastic Free Coastlines will be the start of this.

So, what do we need to do to achieve Plastic Free Coastline Status in Scilly?

Since signing up and being in conversation with SAS Reps we've discovered that with all the work that's taken place throughout 2017 we actually already have enough evidence to sign off on two of the five objectives to gain Plastic Free Coastline Status.

The five objectives focus on the following areas:

  • Objective 1:  Local Governance - this will involve working with the Council of the Isles of Scilly, which we already do on many levels, and hope to be able to build on;
  • Objective 2:  Local Businesses - this will entail meeting with and talking to businesses across the Islands to identify what they are already doing and what else they can do to remove single-use plastic from their daily routines and replace with sustainable alternatives;
  • Objective 3:  Wider Local Community - this requires community engagement and participation by way of education and activities, talks, presentations and generally raising awareness of the campaign and issue of single-use plastic;
  • Objective 4:  On The Ground Action - does what it says on the tin, this is the doing element of the campaign.  Organised beach cleans which everyone is invited to!
  • Objective 5:  Local Resistance Strategic Group - the getting together of a group of like minded individuals to discuss progress, ideas, objectives and future plans.  Sounds a bit scary but in essence there are a lot of groups and individuals interested in this and it doesn't have to be complicated!

In terms of the objectives the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, with the support of Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Funding, has already provided enough evidence throughout 2017 from our community to tick off Objective 3: Wider Local Community and Objective 4: On The Ground Action; but it doesn't stop there and we can and will do more!

There's also a lot of work already happening, or plans are in the pipeline, and this a fantastic way to co-ordinate and give focus to that hard work; providing a framework for us to work to and an opportunity for our community to really support individuals and businesses in reducing their plastic "boot-print".  Why re-invent the wheel?

So what can you do?

Get in touch and stay in touch! 

Let us know what you're doing, however big or small; we'll add your efforts to the evidence list which will be submitted to SAS when we apply for official Plastic Free Coastline Status for the Islands.

If you want to know more, want to share or receive ideas about how you as an individual or how your business can reduce its plastic "boot-print", making our oceans safer for our wildlife and future generations, let us know and we'll pop out and see you.

In the meantime here are a few facts to get the old grey matter ticking away.

Next time you return from the shop(s) have a look at what you've got. 

  • Did you remember to take your reusable bags?
  • Does the product you've purchased contain microbeads? 
  • Does the product you've come home with contain unnecessary plastic?
  • Was there an alternative you could have purchased?
  • Is there excessive plastic packaging that you now just don't know what to do with? 
  • If you're at the pub and buy a drink, does it really need that straw in?
  • Out for a walk?  Don't just ignore the crisp packet blowing in the wind or the plastic bottle rolling across the beach.  Pick it up and put it in the bin.

There are so many small things that we can all do that will make a huge difference, it won't be instant but if we all work together then all these small things add up and we will see a change.

Want to keep track of our progress or get in touch? 

You can contact the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust in any number of ways: at the office, telephone, email, FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram (@ScillyWildlife). 

In addition to this Plastic Free Scilly also has it's own dedicated Social Media Pages on both FaceBook and Twitter (@PlasticFreeIoS)