Today is Earth day. In light of 2019 being the hottest year on record, it is reasonable to say that everyday should have a sense of earth day to it.
Amongst daily press scheduling, even Donald Trump got involved by planting a tree in White House Garden. Good on him? Or did someone internal tell him that he had toon the basis that it would be good for his twitter following? Awareness is awareness.
Closer to to home our friends Surfer Against Sewage launched their #ReturntoOffender Campaign.
Return To Offender is an award-winning campaign, originally set up to send items of branded packaging pollution found on Britain’s beaches back to the offending companies.
Participation is central to the way Surfers Against Sewage successfully inspire change. For this campaign, we are encouraged to document branded plastic pollution during isolated walks within our daily outdoor government permitted allowance. The images we capture will then be uploaded onto social media, tagging brands and urging manufacturers not to abandon action on the plastic pollution crisis.
“To mark Earth Day, we are launching our first-ever digital beach clean campaign, #ReturnToOffender, highlighting the plastic pollution crisis and urging action from the manufacturers of single-use plastics. Volunteers will see, snap and share images of branded waste during their isolation walks, using social media to call out the main culprits behind the scourge of plastic pollution. Our wild spaces are more important than ever during the current crisis and can’t be forgotten.’ says Hugo Tagholm, CEO at Surfers Against Sewage
• #SeeIt – Track branded plastic pollution on beaches, by rivers or in your local park
• #SnapIt – Take an image of the plastic pollution, clearly showing the brand name
• #ShareIt – Using Twitter or Instagram, share the image with the hashtags #ReturnToOffender & #SurfersAgainstSewage, and tagging the brand & Surfers Against Sewage.
The digital clean up social submissions will be used as data within a larger Surfers Against Sewage campaign, launching June 2020, and will reveal the worst offending plastic brand manufacturers found in Britain’s public spaces and beaches.
Do Surfers Againgst Sewage campaigns really work?
Absolutely yes they do. In 2019 the charity ran the UK’s largest ever nationwide survey of packaging pollution found on Britain’s beaches and rivers, conducted by more than 45,000 volunteers during their Big Spring Beach. With over 220 data sets submitted and 20,045 items of packaging pollution recorded this highlighted the impact big business is having on the environment. The report found that Coke and Pepsico were responsible for over 25% of the packaging pollution found on UK beaches.
Very cleverly, SAS used this data to urge the Government to put in place stricter rulings, stating that it is critical that new Extended Producer Responsibility regulations ensure transparency in the amount of all producers packaging in order to fully hold the companies to account for the pollution they create.
So even during this lockdown phase, and on the basis that it is part of your daily exercise, you can get involved in this digital Return To Offender campaign by simply photographing identifiable plastic pollution that you find on beaches and rivers.
Spread the word and stay safe folks.
For full instructions and examples messages visit Surfers Against Sewage