Ending plastic pollution with Surfers Against Sewage
What would it take to end plastic pollution… completely… forever?
Our vision is a sustainable world. A world free from plastic pollution, where plastics are no longer found in human blood, breast milk and placentas. A world where plastics no longer pollute our beaches, seas and natural environment.
Plastics play a vital role in society and in the economy. We need to support a world where we properly value plastics as a material, so we can enjoy all the benefits that plastics provide without it polluting our environment.
Surfers Against Sewage asked what it would take to end plastic pollution when they commissioned us to write a policy strategy – a Strategic National Action Plan– for the UK response to the international and legally-binding UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution.
First, we set a clear goal, then we created a practicable strategy ambitious enough to achieve it.
A good strategy should be simple and easy to communicate. Our strategy sets out four key waypoints to turn off the tap of plastic pollution.
In the Strategic National Action Plan to End Plastic Pollution, we set a roadmap of specific policies to achieve this and a timeline for doing so.
This project illustrates the level of ambition we need to truly tackle environmental problems in the UK. Our Strategic National Action Plan clearly shows the steps Government can take to lead the UK in ending plastic pollution. The UK has already shown commitment to achieve this ambition through its role in the global treaty. Nobody wants plastic pollution. It’s harmful to citizens, to brands, and to the plastics industry. UK public policy has to date, quite rightly, focussed on addressing the most pressing issues. Now is the time for strong leadership, using systems thinking not only to end plastic pollution but to achieve net zero and a circular economy.
George Cole, Director at Resource Futures
The UK has taken a leading role in the global environmental movement to develop the UN treaty on plastic pollution. There’s never been a better time to act on plastic pollution. We are all aligned in our ambition, we just need Government to set an ambitious plan for industry players to follow. This National Action Plan hopes to achieve that.
Carla Worth, Senior Consultant at Resource Futures
Ultimately, whether the UK Government adopts our strategy, parts of it, or creates something completely new, the call to action is the same:
The second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Plastic Pollution to develop the treaty will be held in Paris on 29 May 2023. We look forward to seeing the UK Government’s written submission with the options they believe should be considered in the international legally binding instrument.