Plastic Free Awards winners announced
27th November, 2019
Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) held the UK’s first ever Plastic Free Awards this week, celebrating the heroes leading the fight against plastic pollution
How do we stop creating and using plastic, which goes on to pollute our waterways, bodies and wildlife? On November 21st 2019 Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) held the first ‘Plastic Free Awards’ to celebrate the unsung heroes that are tackling the issue. The awards had 12 categories, recognising the campaigners, entrepreneurs, community leaders, volunteers, youth activists and influencers taking action.
Winners included Bristol café chain Boston Tea Party, the first coffee company to ban single use coffee cups. And Plastic Free Penzance, the first community to be awarded plastic free status. Rapanui won the ‘small business award’ for it’s sustainable clothing company, and Lewis Pugh, the legendary cold swimmer and UN Patron for the Ocean, won the Sports Champion category in recognition of his work to raise awareness of the issues faced by our oceans through his swim expeditions. (Congratulations Lewis!)
No awards would be complete without a place for Sir David Attenborough, who received the most prestigious prize, the ‘Sir Malcolm Walker Award’, given to the person who has had the biggest influence over plastics in the past two years, reflecting the impact of his documentary ‘Blue Planet II’ in bringing the issue of plastic pollution to a mainstream public audience.
‘Huge congratulations to all winners and entrants for their progressive stance on plastics,’ says OSS Founder Kate Rew. ‘Like many people I find reducing and removing them from regular purchases surprisingly hard, and value those driving systematic change. But as a swimmer and river and ocean lover I hear environmentalists when they say that climate change is a bigger threat to the health of our oceans. While many of us are highly motivated to address plastics, we shouldn’t be distracted by them. Academics are urging us to make large scale behavioural change “to reduce consumption, decarbonise economies and move beyond materialism as the basis for our well-being*”. ‘
- For the full list of winners, see Surfers Against Sewage.
- *Rick Stafford, Professor of Marine Biology and Conservation, Bournemouth University & Peter JS Jones, Reader in Environmental Governance, UCL in “Climate change: obsession with plastic pollution distracts attention from bigger environmental challenges“