8–12 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our oceans each year. Today, one in three fish caught in the English Channel contains pieces of plastic and UN Oceans Chief Lisa Svensson describes the rising tide of plastic waste in the ocean as a ‘planetary crisis’. And yet virgin plastic production continues to rise and is predicted to increase 40% over the next 10 years.

How WWT are helping

WWT, as a wetland conservation charity, has already taken steps to reduce our use of single use plastics. We now:

  • Provide all takeaway food and drink in compostable packaging
  • All of our tea bags are oil-based plastic free, and are instead made from plant-based plastics
  • Provide free tap water and offer to refill bottles
  • Send our membership magazine, Waterlife, in a compostable starch wrapper
  • Only sell drinks in recyclable glass bottles or cans
  • Provide only paper straws
  • Provide incentives for visitors to use and purchase reusable hot drink mugs - please bring your own refillable keep cup for takeaway drinks
  • Work with some of our product suppliers to look for plastic free packaging alternatives or compostable packaging
  • Use cotton business card holders instead of plastic

Lucy Smith, WWT’s Sustainability Manager said:

“Wetlands are the Earth’s last line of natural defence between man-made pollution and our rivers, seas and oceans. Sadly many wetlands have been drained or destroyed over the past few centuries, leaving our oceans more exposed than ever, and putting more pressure on our remaining marshes, swamps and shallow seas.

“WWT’s vision is for world where healthy wetlands help and enrich society, so we’re committed to minimising the use of disposable plastics in our visitor centres and in our day to day business. We’re delighted to announce that we’ve managed to implement many changes already and will be looking for other opportunities across our Trading and wider operations.”

How to reduce your own plastic usage

Whilst we acknowledge there needs to be widespread governmental change in our approach to non-sustainable materials, there are things we can do on a personal level to make a small difference.

Help and advice on plastics