The surfers calling on MPs to make parliament plastic-free

Politicians are under pressure to curb their plastic consumption. A new website has launched, enabling the public to contact their local MP and discourage them from purchasing single-use plastics

MPs are being urged to get their own house in order, when it comes to plastic pollution. Research by those at environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) showed that more than 2 million pieces of single-use plastic items were bought by the House of Commons and the House of Lords in 2017. Now the charity has launched from where people can send their MP a message urging them to act.

The UK government launched its 25-year environmental plan earlier this year, with a focus on tackling plastic waste.

MPs should lead by example, says SAS CEO Hugo Tagholm: “Elected politicians can pass progressive new legislation to decouple society from its addiction to avoidable, single-use plastics.”

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The charity, which was launched in 1990 by a group of Cornish surfers, has also been leading the call for a nationwide bottle deposit scheme. A deposit return system could help almost eliminate plastic bottles and other containers, believes Tagholm. It would ensure that they are returned to the manufacturer for reuse or recycling, protect valuable resources and also save local authorities money. Some 240,000 people have so far signed a petition to introduce such a scheme. SAS also organises regular beach clean-ups, campaigns on water pollution and runs projects in schools.

“We’re a passionate, practical-minded movement of people just like you,” says Tagholm. “People who love the ocean and who have stepped forward to protect it.”


Image: Tim Boydell

Image: Barry MacDonald

Image: Chris McClean

Image: Chris McClean

Featured image: Lewis Arnold


This article is part of a special focus on zero-waste pioneers, which also features in Positive News magazine. Subscribe now to get the magazine delivered to your door each quarter.