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Earthwatch Europe and SC Johnson announce partnership to reduce plastic pollution in UK rivers

Earthwatch is pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with SC Johnson, which enables people to take action on ‘on-the-go’ plastics.

SC Johnson is sponsoring the latest phase of Earthwatch’s Plastic Rivers project in a year-long partnership. Their grant will enable the development of an online, on-the-go plastic footprint calculator, where members of the public will be able to calculate their impact on the environment and find out how to reduce it.

The grant will also provide sponsorship of community events to raise awareness regarding plastic waste and pick up plastic pollution.

Steve Andrews, CEO of Earthwatch Europe, said: “Global pollution starts on our doorsteps. We are very excited about this innovative partnership with SC Johnson, which will provide new tools for individuals to make positive change, and for communities to come together to improve their local environment. We all have a part to play to tackle plastic pollution and Earthwatch is committed to empowering everyone to take action; when we do this together, we will have the biggest impact.”

Maria Pontes, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at Earthwatch Europe, said: “We are proud to partner with SC Johnson and support their work to provide leadership in raising awareness and addressing the issue of plastic waste among the business community. This exciting project will make an important contribution to reducing plastic pollution in the UK.”

Up to 80% of the plastic in our seas is washed down from rivers. In April 2019, Earthwatch published its Plastic Rivers report in association with Plastic Oceans UK, which analysed data from nine studies of freshwater sources across the UK and Europe. It ranked types of macroplastic by prevalence, focusing on consumer items and excluding items relating to fishing, agriculture and industry. Plastic bottles were found to be the biggest contributor to freshwater plastic pollution, followed by food wrappers and cigarette butts. All ten pollutants can be characterised as ‘on-the-go’ plastics, as they are commonly disposed of incorrectly for convenience out of the home.

The on-the-go plastic footprint calculator will be based on an individual’s use of the top ten freshwater plastic pollutants. Once they have added details of their plastic usage, users will receive tailored, evidence-based recommendations for alternative options that have the most positive environmental impact.

Earthwatch’s Plastic Rivers programme aims to provide a detailed picture of where plastic pollution originates, how it ends up in our waterways and oceans, and how we can help solve the problem in partnership with businesses, consumers and policy makers. It offers practical, evidence-based steps to tackle plastic pollution, so that everyone can be part of the solution.

 

Image credit: Alamy/Anthony Pugh

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