Plastic Free July may be over – but it’s so important that we keep the conversation going – especially as this week a UN scientific report called the escalating climate crisis a ‘code red for humanity’. Plastics are one of the most damaging materials on the planet – harming both our health and the environment. Every year, plastic waste increases at a rate of 9% and as 10 million tonnes of plastics end up in our oceans every year already – this is clearly an issue we need to tackle.
Here are our top charities and third sector organisations that are doing incredible work to break down the horrific impact plastics are having on our world. Take a read and be sure to support them all year round!
First, let’s start with the Plastic Free Foundation – the organisation behind the annual Plastic Free July campaign. The campaign itself was started back in 2011 by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and a small local government team in Western Australia. However, after 6 years, Plastic Free July became so big that organisers decided it was time to give it a permanent home. The Plastic Free Foundation was set up in 2017 as an independent, not-for-profit charity and continues to spearhead the fight to reduce plastic pollution around the world. The foundation allows them to keep doing their incredible work all year round – want to support them? You can donate right here!
Surfers against Sewage is a prime example of how change can happen when a community comes together. What began as a grassroots movement, started by surfers in Cornwall back in the 90s has now flourished into an organisation that has support from volunteers all over the country. They are on a mission to end pollution in our seas by educating communities, talking to governments and challenging industry. However, potentially their most impressive feat is encouraging 70,000 people to take part in their latest Big Beach Spring Clean back in 2019!
Another nationwide community of ocean lovers is the Marine Conservation Society. Similarly to Surfers Against Sewage, The MCS inspires everyone who cares about wildlife and our seas to get involved in protecting it. Describing themselves as ‘people-powered action with science on our side’, data plays a pivotal role in society’s work in lobbying governments and their annual impact report shows their supporters exactly how their donations are being spent. If you want to get involved in their practical pursuits, their next national beach clean is this September, so grab your litter picker and get down to the coast! You can find more information and support their work here.
Whilst we love the charities protecting the environment in the UK, plastic pollution is an international problem. Waste Aid is an amazing charity that works with low and middle-income countries to establish effective recycling programmes and improve understanding of waste management. 9 million people die each year from diseases linked to waste and pollution and this problem is even more prevalent in developing countries. The organisation is on a mission to ensure everyone has access to waste disposal methods that are better for our health – and the planet. You can donate to Waste Aid here.
There is no way we couldn’t include Reath on this list. The Scottish tech-for-good company have managed to combine our two great passions, saving the planet and Google Analytics! Many eco-friendly businesses are trying to ease the pressure of single-use plastics by adopting a reusable and refillable approach to packaging. This is known as adopting a ‘circular system’ – and it’s awesome. However, there was previously no real way of tracking these reusable containers and making sure they were safe for use – until Reath. Using technology and data analysis they have created a system that allows zero-waste businesses to get circular whilst staying compliant, generating insights and identifying savings. We are big fans!