City To Sea if our latest campaign for Fieldview Festival 2017. This organisation has made some massive steps to increase awareness of plastic uses.
We asked Natalie Fee, Founder of City To Sea a few questions!
What’s new at City to Sea?
We’re super busy with our Refill scheme, having had a lot of national press just this week, and the app going global in the last month. We’re also running a campaign called Unflushables – educating people about the crazy amounts of plastic being flushed down the loo in the form of wipes and menstrual products!
Why did you start City to Sea?
I founded City to Sea in 2015 having learnt about the tragic plight of the Albatross chicks after watching the trailer for the film Midway. I just couldn’t sit back and do nothing while millions of these magnificent seabirds died an unnecessary death … not on my watch! Being based on the river Avon and seeing so much plastic there heading out to sea, I knew the solution to this problem could start at home, with me! With us!
You’ve had some really big wins. The Cotton Buds plastic to paper is very impressive! What are your current campaigns? And can you write a little about them?
We have indeed! Thank you, it’s really impressive actually, the move to paper buds will stop over 320 tons of plastic being produced annually, and that’s just from the supermarkets, not taking into account Boots, Superdrug and Johnson & Johnson. So it’s massive! Refill and Unflushables are our biggest current campaigns – Refill’s encouraging people to carry a reusable bottle and top up with tap water on the go, so saving single-use plastic from plastic bottles. (Of which we humans are using a million a minute!). As for Unflushables, we’re spreading the words that only pee, paper and poo goes down the loo. Our last cheeky little film had over 320k views! Flushed plastics make up around 7% of beach litter in the UK, and that figure keeps on climbing each year. Here at City to Sea we’re working hard to reverse that trend and help connect our actions to our oceans, from bog to beach!
There are a few charities similar to yourselves. Do you ever do any collaborations? Do you see yourselves doing more collaborations in the future?
As ‘new kids on the block’ yes there are other organisations, and where possible we try to work with them. We worked with Fidra on #SwitchtheStick – the cotton bud campaign, and for Refill, Frank Water helped provide the volunteers for Refill Bristol, and we work with Keep Britain Tidy/Beachcare on Refill Cornwall. We’re growing close relationships with Greenpeace as well as working with Surfers Against Sewage on their Message in a Bottle campaign.
What does the future look like for City to Sea?
Plastic pollution isn’t going away any time soon, so neither are we. We’re hoping than in ten years time we’ll have a deposit scheme here in the UK and supermarkets will be taking more responsibility for their packaging! Until then, we’ll be keeping up the pressure and empowering individuals to make a difference!