100 Tons of Plastic – fighting against the tide of plastic pollution

Did you know 100% of baby sea turtles have plastic in their stomach? It’s a disheartening fact, but there are a number of individuals and charities trying to fight against the overwhelming plastic in our oceans. One such group is 100 Tons of Plastic, founded by George Heming and Ollie Jackson, who have a target of removing 100 tons of plastic waste from our shores and seas, while educating and raising awareness of the problem.

 

CommunityAd had the privilege of speaking to founder George to find out more about how the 100 Tons of Plastic charity started and some of the projects they’ve been involved in locally and around the world.

 

George, who comes from a sailing background and learned to sail from a young age, explained that as he was growing up, he became more and more aware of the plastic in our seas and even more motivated to do something about it. After leaving school George joined forces with Ollie, who also grew up around boats and had an affinity towards the ocean similar to his own, to create 100 Tons of Plastic.

 

Three years later, the determined pair – along with a number of likeminded eco warriors – have managed to remove an astonishing 58 tons of plastic from our oceans and shores.

 

Speaking on the charity’s target and development George told us: “We decided on 100 Tons of Plastic due to working out a weight that was an impressive amount but also realistic. I mean 10 Tons of Plastic just doesn’t sound as good!

“100 tons of plastic waste is a huge amount, and we soon realised that when we would do a big clean up and it would only come to a couple of hundred kilograms. That’s part of the challenge though, it has to be tough and we’re very happy how we have progressed over the past three years.

“In the first year, we concentrated on the UK and one thing we heavily worked with were schools. One of the first things we were both very proud to have achieved was to help organise an art exhibition in Whitstable with 14 different schools producing art out of plastic waste. It was a great success and something we would love to do in the future again.”

 

With the campaign growing and gaining traction, people from across the world are starting to follow the charity’s journey, leading to multiple clean ups being organised in different parts of the world helping raise awareness on a larger scale.

 

100 Tons of Plastic then decided to produce a documentary focusing on the amazing work that is taking place in Bali and how they are dealing with their plastic problem. The moving documentary is called ‘Paradise Island’ and is available to watch on YouTube.

 

Speaking on the repercussions plastic waste can have on our marine life, birds and in turn humans, George explains: “Birds, turtles and whales can mistake these plastics for food, or they get tangled in packaging and ghost fishing gear. The toxins from the plastics have entered the food chain, which we then eat, so this is affecting human health.”

 

To fight against the unyielding enemy that is plastic pollution, 100 Tons of Plastic have three simple steps: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.

 

To find out more about 100 Tons of Plastic and their incredible journey so far, or if you would like to organise your own clean up you can get in touch via [email protected] or via Instagram @100tonsofplastic, Facebook @100tonsofplastic or their website.

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