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Dear future Prime Minister – The Cost of Living Crisis Cannot Cost the Earth

By December 12, 2023No Comments

Dear future Prime Minister,

With COP28 upon us, this is now the third year in a row I write this open letter, hoping for a real and substantive response. 

2023 has been a challenging year for many, as inflation and the economy are not easy to address in a changing political landscape, but ocean plastic prevention should be a non-partisan issue and my message remains the same:

The Cost of Living Crisis Cannot Cost the Earth.

Our team at Prevented Ocean Plastic continues to push for the use of recycled plastic instead of new plastic. No matter who is in charge of the UK government, plastic around the world needs to be collected responsibly, and reused into new products, instead of being discarded after a single use.

Last week, we could have even made our case directly to you. Members of our team were invited to a ceremony inside the Houses of Parliament, alongside leading environmentally-focused UK businesses. We were thankful to receive the Green World Champion Award and Green World Ambassador status. Many of the businesses recognised at this event, including us, have proven ideas that can impact how plastic is used and collected in the UK (and abroad) for ocean plastic prevention at a meaningful scale.

For example, the recent UK Plastic Packaging Tax has not gone far enough to change company behaviour in 2023 (we have the stats!) but it is possible to learn from successful models in other countries. In Spain, the penalty for companies not using required minimums of recycled plastic is double that which is regulated in the UK.

As a UK social entrepreneur focusing on ocean plastic prevention around the world, I can tell you definitively that the penalty for not using recycled plastic in Spain is working. There are further examples in other regions where evolved deposit return schemes and brand-level extended producer responsibility programmes are working too.

We can all make better choices – the NHS has. 

We were thrilled to see the NHS proudly display the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ logo on the front and inside of their health screening boxes, and in their latest TV campaign. In fact, there are currently over 400 products on UK shelves displaying our distinctive blue triangular logo. And we owe a massive thank you to all who are supporting hard working first collectors, skilled recyclers, and our team by making a better plastic choice.

The Prevented Ocean Plastic programme offers consumers and businesses a better plastic choice – empowering people to contribute positively to both dignified job creation and the clean-up of the environment. We work with recyclers and collectors in coastal areas that are at-risk of ocean plastic pollution, and provide a just transition to better collection infrastructure, stable jobs and a cleaner environment. Our material is fully traceable, responsibly sourced, and of the highest quality.

If the country chooses you, choose prevention with us. An invitation is open.

We invite you, or one of your representatives, to meet with us at our Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Research Centre on the Richmond Green. We are incredibly proud to be part of the UK business community. The UK should be at the forefront of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and we invite you to join with us so we can work together on that journey. Let’s not make ocean plastic prevention a partisan issue. Let’s not wait until prevention is no longer an option for our environment. Let’s make a better plastic choice together.

Yours sincerely,

Raffi Schieir
Founder of Prevented Ocean Plastic™ by Bantam Materials UK Ltd.

Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is high quality, certified recycled plastic that has been collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution. Used by supermarkets and brands around the world, it meets regulatory health and safety standards, is traceable back to source and can be identified on-pack through its distinctive triangular logo. Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is an official nominee for the 2023 Earthshot Prize, and counts Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Booths Supermarket as key partners, along with major manufacturing partners such as Groupe Guillin, Spectra Packaging, and Berry Global for offerings across multiple product categories, including fish, poultry, soft fruits, pet food, personal care, and home cleaning.