The Fight against Plastic Pollution

Polly Ethel

Meet Polly Ethel, a cloth doll whose tail, top and hair are all made from fibres picked out of some of the huge quantity of polyethylene rope washed up on Perranuthnoe beach this Autumn.

Created by Pippa Stilwell, CFWI Federation Climate Ambassador, to raise awareness of the plastic tide washing up on our beaches, Polly Ethel had her first outing at the November meeting of Zennor WI. At the meeting, Katie Eddy from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) came to talk to the group about SAS’s work in organising beach cleans, and lobbying politicians and big corporations such as Coca-Cola in an effort to stop the flow of single-use plastics into the sea.

Following that meeting, Polly Ethel had her first public exposure in The Cornishman on Thursday 23rd November (page 14).

Beach cleans are brilliant, and taking a bag on a trip to the beach means you can collect plenty of rubbish on the way home. But we also have to stop the problem at source. For an ordinary walk on the beach, some things are too big to collect – and some are too small.

That means thinking big, and here are some positive moves:

  • Following public pressure, the UK is set to put in place the world’s strongest ban on microbeads
  • In the autumn budget, The Chancellor called for a feasibility study into a tax on single use plastics, including takeaway boxes
  • With huge public support, Surfers against Sewage have been calling for a bottle deposit scheme, which has been demonstrated in other countries to increase the number of plastic bottles being recycled.
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