Plastic. It’s everywhere and in almost everything so there’s no surprise that it’s hard to break free from. Takeaway coffee cups, sanitary items, toothpastes, shavers, balloons, soap dispensers, pre-packaged food, bin liners, straws, takeaway cutlery & containers… the list goes on.
We are all plastic addicts.
But think about it. Why would you make something that you’re going to use for a few minutes out of a material that’s basically going to last forever, and you’re just going to throw it away?
The visceral impact of TV series like Blue Planet has been key to raising awareness of plastic pollution on a mass level - and remember when Victor Vescovo’s submarine hit the floor of the Mariana Trench? In a control room some 35,853ft above, his dive team clapped and cheered. A massive congratulations was in order as he was literally charting new territory, but as he was mapping his route for future researchers, he noticed something familiar among the otherworldly terrain. Rubbish. Some sort of plastic waste. Now, whilst early reports indicated it was a plastic bag, those theories weren’t quite right officials now say, BUT it was plastic nonetheless!
The Duke of Sussex also recently warned that the purchase of fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic is a “dirty habit” that has “become normalised”. He questioned how it had become so common to buy peeled, pre-packaged vegetables, noting “it doesn’t make any sense”.
There’s no doubt that a change of behaviour is needed from both consumers and businesses, yet despite the UK press being littered with news on plastic pollution, our behaviour isn’t changing fast enough: there are still 5,000 pieces of plastic per mile on UK beaches, and according to the Ocean Conservancy, in less than 10 years, scientists predict there will be 250 million metric tons in the ocean and by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish.
The beach is Corona’s spiritual home and the outdoors – paradise – is where we belong and come alive. But today, paradise is in grave danger and it’s our role to protect it. Through Corona’s Parley for the Oceans partnership, we’ve been on a mission to clean 100 islands by 2020, but it was key that we bring the issue home to our audience – which cares about the environment but might not actually see the damage being done.
Corona teamed up with environmentalist Ben Fogle to launch a national beach clean programme and a pledge to remove hundreds of millions of pieces of plastic from circulation in the UK, helping to protect beaches in the UK and abroad. The pledge came in response to new research which found that 69% of Britons find plastic impossible to avoid, with the average Brit using cellophane bags at supermarkets 9.6 times a month, while clingfilm is used 8.4 times a month, and bottled water 7.2 times a month.
If we re-wire our brains on how we consume plastic and every adult were to give up just one item, based on the average plastic usage identified by Corona’s research, up to 326 million pieces of plastic could be avoided over the course of the month and positive habits could be formed.
While a complete solution to the plastic problem is likely years away, small changes together can make a big wave of difference, and if we as individuals work together, we can make a massive difference and help protect our paradise.
So next time you put your bunch of bananas in a plastic bag at the supermarket, walk into a coffee shop without a reusable cup or ask for a straw when your drink arrives in a restaurant, ask yourself… do I really need it?
Do your part to help turn off the plastic tap. Take the pledge and give up one item of single-use plastic for a month: www.protectparadise.com