Today is World Oceans Day (Friday 8 June) and we're looking at what we can do to help protect our oceans from destruction caused by plastic waste.
As a small but growing company with a head office located just five miles from the English Channel, we feel we have a responsibility to try to minimise our environmental impact - especially when it comes to the plastics we use in the office every day.
That's why we are making a pledge to cut down on single-use plastics around our offices in Berwick and Sedgefield. To kick things off, we're giving each of our employees a reusable aluminium bottle that they can refill throughout the day instead of buying and throwing away plastic bottles.
Over one million plastic bottles are sold every minute across the world. By 2021, that number is expected to increase by 20%. It's thought that most of these bottles are used for drinking water.
While many are made from polyethylene terephthalate (a recyclable material), the sheer volume of production means the unprocessed waste is piling up- a significant amount of which ends up in the sea. Only around 7% of plastic bottles are recycled as new bottles.
Up to 13 million tonnes of plastic is dumped in the ocean each year to be ingested by sea birds, whales, turtles and many other animals. According to research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish.
Many experts believe plastic waste has already made its way into the human food chain. In August 2016 a study by Plymouth University discovered plastic in a third of UK-caught fish, including haddock, cod, mackerel and shellfish.
Hugo Tagholm, from campaigning group Surfers Against Sewage, told the Guardian:
“The plastic pollution crisis rivals the threat of climate change as it pollutes every natural system and an increasing number of organisms on planet Earth.
“Current science shows that plastics cannot be usefully assimilated into the food chain. Where they are ingested they carry toxins that work their way on to our dinner plates.”
Ian Fletcher-Price, CEO of Posturite said: "Providing reusable bottles is a simple but effective way of cutting down on plastic waste in the workplace. It's these small changes that we hope will make a difference to our planet in the long run."
To further support World Ocean's Day, we're organising a Big Posturite Beach Clean to take place along the coast at Eastbourne this summer
To find out more about how you can help reduce plastic waste, head over to the World Ocean's Day website.