BPF Director-General Peter Davis said “Of course we cannot verify the findings but the BPF is working with all stakeholders to try and prevent plastics being littered, dumped or lost into the marine environment. We want it back for recycling first and foremost but also as a source of energy, through Energy from Waste. The Plastics industry does not leave litter on beaches or illegally dump waste at sea. We are working with NGOs and EU, National and Local Governments to tackle these problems.” Peter Davis added “We don’t agree with the allegations of toxins in plastics. It is not proven that there are any harmful effects.”
Prevention of Plastics in Marine Litter initiatives the BPF supports:
•Litter Prevention – Changing Behaviour
With the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) the Plastics Industry piloted the “Bottle Champions” recycling campaign in 30 Primary Schools. Children recycled ten plastic bottles; each brought in the caps as proof and won a brand new sports strip for the school made from recycled plastic bottles. This is part of the MCSs “Coolseas” roadshow.
In 2012-13 we are sponsoring this successful MCS initiative being extended to 110 schools. Regional media coverage is being achieved.
•Operation Clean Sweep – Plastic Pellet & Powder Loss Prevention
Launched by the BPF in 2009 with support from the charity Surfers against Sewage. Operation Clean Sweep is a best practice manual to prevent the loss of plastic pellet raw material into the Environment from factories or in transit. Companies are invited to sign an OCS Pledge and rigorously check their operations. More information can be seen at: www.operationcleansweep.co.uk
•Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch Survey
In September 2010, 2011and 2012 representatives of Plastics Industry Associations took part in beach cleans and surveys organised by the MCS in Scotland and England.
•Microplastics ingestion by marine organisms
The BPF and other plastics industry associations are sponsoring a University of Ghent study on the occurrence of microplastics in mussels and lugworms on the French, Belgian and Dutch coasts – one of the busiest sea lanes in the world. The study is being conducted by Prof. Colin Janssen and has the support of the Belgian Environment Ministry.
•EuPC Trawl net for floating plastics debris
The European Union for Plastic Convertors (EuPC) has signed an agreement with the inventor of a new trawling net made from plastics and designed to retrieve floating plastics waste in river and coastal waters. Fishermen can use the trawl and catch between 2 – 8 tonnes of marine debris. It has been successfully trialled at numerous locations throughout Europe and has been supported by the EU Commission.
An International “Declaration for Solution on Marine Litter” has been adopted by 54 plastics industry organisations so far. It outlines a six-point strategy for industry action, and advocates close co-operation with a broad range of stakeholders to shape solutions for the marine environment.
The activities undertaken by the global plastics industry are publicly available at: www.marinelittersolutions.org
•“Love where you live” new litter prevention campaign
The BPF has played a key part in devising this new campaign. The BPF has made LWYL pledges relating to plastics in marine litter. The public launch of LWYL took place on 29th March 2011.
As an LWYL Founding Partner the BPF participated in the “Croydon Litter Clean” in London on 17th October last year with the former Secretary of State for DEFRA Caroline Spelman and TV personality Kirstie Allsopp present.
For further information contact:
Peter Davis, Director-General British Plastics Federation Tel 0207 457 5003