It’s time to turn the tide on plastic pollution in our seas and oceans

Kasia, Gabby and Vicky give the campaign their support

Harwich Haven Authority launched a new campaign this week – Turn the tide on plastics – to raise awareness about the affect plastic is having on our local marine environments.
Each year it is estimated that billions – indeed trillions – of plastic items, such as bags, drinking straws, cotton buds and face wipes end up in our oceans and seas. The effects of which were featured on Sir David Attenborough’s recent BBC one programme Blue Planet 2. The show reported that plastic debris has now been found in the deepest, most remote oceans and it graphically featured marine creatures whose stomachs were full of everyday plastic items.

As one of the UK’s largest trust ports we exist to conserve, protect and improve the natural environment of Harwich Harbour and its surrounding rivers for the benefit of all stakeholders. Our new campaign is aimed at local residents, commercial and leisure operators and the estimated 10,000 leisure vessels that visit the Haven each year.

“The practice of disposing of plastic into our seas and oceans is now a global problem that each and every one of us must take responsibility for,” says Neil Glendinning, Chief Executive, Harwich Haven Authority.

“We hope that our new initiative will go some way to raise awareness among our stakeholders in the Haven that the time has come to turn the tide on plastic. Even small changes, such as refilling water bottles, will make a huge difference to the amount of plastic waste we produce.  As an organisation we will also be looking at ways that we can reduce our waste and recycle more efficiently.”

The awareness campaign was launched to coincide with World Environment day – 5 June 2018 – and Harwich Haven Authority staff spent the afternoon giving away reusable cotton bags and speaking with visitors about the issue on Ha’penny Pier.

The Authority will be running the campaign, which features the hashtag #plasticfreehaven, throughout the summer months and further awareness events will be listed on their Facebook page @Harwichhaven.