In response to growing public concern over pollution of the marine and wider environment a coalition of over 30 marine-linked organisations across Cornwall have recently joined forces to raise awareness of this critical issue and to promote solutions. Transition Falmouth is pleased to be offering its support as a member of this new group.
There are many individual causes of pollution of our oceans and shorelines across the globe, the UK, and here in Cornwall, with the major contributor being plastic litter which takes very many years to break up, and then does not break down completely in the sea, thus causing serious damage to marine life and the eco-system which supports it.
Among the items causing plastic pollution and about which Your Shore is concerned, are balloon releases; microplastics; microfibres; fishing litter;cargo spills and a wide range of other plastic waste including bottles, bottle tops,wipes,cotton buds,plastic disposable trays and cups and shotgun waddings.
To date, two pieces of collaborative action have seen positive results.
Firstly, following on from the decision of Cornwall Council to ban balloon releases from its own land Your Shore have successfully targeted a balloon release in the Penwith area and are actively encouraging supporters to report releases which will potentially harm livestock on land and marine life at sea, and also provide photographic evidence of the results of releases. Such reports and evidence can posted on to the Your Shore Plastic Pollution Facebook page. There is also an online survey about balloon release opinions which concerned individuals and organisations are encouraged to complete.
Secondly, an Open Letter signed by Your Shore Coalition organisations calling for a ban on polluting microplastics in cosmetics was sent as evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee of the House of Commons, to local MPs and to the press. The full text can be viewed here.
Further support has come from major petitions organised by both the Marine Conservation Society and Greenpeace. The outcome of this campaign can be found in the latest newsletter of the Marine Litter Action Network.
Much more needs to be done. Keep in touch with developments on this website or encourage your organisation to get involved direct by making contact via www.ramepbc.org