The RJ Power Group brand has recently formed a Green Team, a group of individuals that are passionate and interested in environmentally friendly initiatives and are keen to improve RJ Power Group’s eco footprint by becoming greener. The Green Team are looking to take part in activities such as beach cleans, wildlife conservation events, creating urban gardens to encourage pollination such as the one they have already created at the RJ Power Networks and RJ Power Connections office and other environmentally friendly activities, as well as making relevant changes to each of the RJ Power Group brand businesses to help towards creating a positive impact on the environment.
One of the current initiatives being led by the Green Team, is around supporting the clean up of plastic washed up on local beaches. Plastic pollution is a massive threat to the environment – every year more plastic is dumped into our oceans. The New York times recently stated that:
“About 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year and yet only about 10% of the plastic produced is recycled. Of the plastic that is simply trashed, an estimated seven million tons ends up in the sea each year”
This is a staggering amount of plastic entering our oceans every year, and with plastic on average taking 450 – 1000 years to break down, our sea life is becoming threatened and many fish, animals and mammals are dying from ingesting plastic or becoming stuck in the rubbish they come across.
On the 19th May, the RJ Power Group Green Team took part in their first event by visiting Littlehampton’s sea front to support a beach clean, which was organised by the Marine Conservative Society. Beachwatch is the Marine Conservation Society’s national beach cleaning and litter survey programme. They organise beach cleaning events where people all around the UK, can care for their coastline, by volunteering or organising their own beach cleaning event.
The Marine Conservative Society provided the group with litter pickers, gloves, bin bags, hoops and hi-vis clothing. A safety briefing was also delivered to the team before the clean-up process, where participants were shown how to use the equipment supplied to them, and to inform them of areas to avoid on the beach (such as the dunes) as it may be unsafe especially for children. During the safety brief, the team were also advised on the type of litter to remove from the beach and which to leave. Rubbish such as sharps (needles, razor blades) were not to be picked up, however participants were instructed to call over one of the event organisers who would be able to dispose of the items safely.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that RJ Power Group’s Green Team made up only a very small portion of the overall group of beach cleaners, which gave them a fantastic opportunity to meet new people all sharing a common goal. Many people used the beach clean as an opportunity to walk their dogs whilst they picked up the rubbish they came across, but more impressively, many people brought their children along, getting them involved in this project and creating a fun family day out.
The UK are currently passing laws and making positive changes to help reduce the amount of plastic used by businesses and households. For example, the government has proposed banning the sale and distribution of single-use plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds in England, unless needed for medical reasons. It is currently consulting on plans, which it expects to come into force at some point between October 2019 and October 2020.
Recognising that there is a major issue with the way we use and dispose of plastic is just the start. The human race already has a huge job to try and fix some of the detrimental issues we have created by using so many unrecyclable and single-use plastics. By volunteering for a beach clean you are helping to remove a small portion of plastic which could end up in the sea. It is a great way to start protecting and helping our planet and also helps to educate people on the importance of protecting the world for future generations.
Well done to the Green team for their efforts – Anita, Isabelle, Lianne, Paul and Suzanne. The team are already planning their next event, as well as discussing ideas which can be implemented into the businesses to make further improvements. For more updates on the progress of the Green Team please keep an eye on our News section of the RJ Power Group website and also our Social Media channels.
To get involved in a beach clean near you, visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website https://www.mcsuk.org/.