Ever wonder what happens to your plastic water bottles after you’ve emptied them? Well, one man had taken it upon himself to show us. Alex Goodchild, a marine pollution activist, is set to Kayak and S.U.P. (Stand Up Paddleboard) a 50-mile stretch of rivers in Suffolk, England and documenting the waste he finds.

He will be collecting plastic waste, analyzing where it is building up, and search for solutions to the problem of plastic pollution.

 

Alex is a regional representative for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), an environmental organization dedicated to protecting the U.K’s waterways and raising awareness about the impact of marine litter on our planet’s waterways and oceans. On top of documenting plastic waste and educating the public, Alex and SAS are raising money for their Message in a Bottle campaign. The campaign is petitioning the U.K. legislative officials to institute a Deposit Return System; the system would require a small deposit to be added to plastic bottles which would be returned to consumers when they properly dispose of their plastic bottles.

The U.K instituted a plastic bag tax in 2016 that added a five pence charge to the plastic bags in most supermarkets and stores. The tax was wildly successful and effectively cut the nation’s plastic bag waste by 50 percent. SAS hopes to emulate this ban with their Message in a Bottle campaign and have similar results.

Alex’s prospects for success are good because fundraising campaigns like this have been received very well in the past. In 2016, Lizzie Carr plunged herself into a 22-day journey down the English Channel documenting and collecting plastic waste to rais awareness about the polluted water under her feet. Over the course of her journey, she collected 1,600 plastic bottles and armfuls of rubbish as well.

 

 

We are excited to get updates from Alex as he paddles the rivers of Suffolk. If you would like to follow his journey and learn more about the dangers of plastic pollution in the U.K, you can do so on his website.  To donate to SAS’s Message in a bottle campaign click here.

While we are excited about the efforts of Alex and SAS, it’s important to remember that plastic pollution is a global problem. The plastics found in the rivers of Suffolk and the British channel will eventually make their way into the oceans and can end up traveling thousands of miles. There are currently 270,000 tons of plastic floating on the ocean’s surface alone. This pollution threatens over 800 species of marine life and as we continue using disposable plastics, these numbers will grow too. So if you want to learn how to fight back against plastic pollution in your everyday life, join One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic movement and start saving the oceans today.

Image source: The Tidal Times