I’m really proud to announce a big breakthrough for one of my campaigns today, which is the reduction of plastic waste on the beach at Saltburn. P D Ports, the operators of Teesport, have just become the FIRST port in the whole country to sign up to the British Plastics Federation “Operation Clean Sweep”, the industry code to prevent plastic pellets escaping during manufacture and transport.
Over the last year I have been working with local volunteer initiatives like Saltburn Beachwatch, Surfers Against Sewage and Keeping It Clean At Saltburn to help combat this. Roy Smith and Michelle Dickson from Beachwatch showed me “nurdles” that volunteers have collected – tiny pieces of raw plastic that have washed up, and which not only litter the beach but kill wildlife.
I met the British Plastics Federation earlier this summer to discuss how I could help. They explained that Antwerp had recently become the first port in Europe to adopt Operation Clean Sweep. As a result, I determined to ask Teesport to lead the way in the UK.
Last week, I joined Helen Jordan from the BPF to meet PD Ports bosses Frans Calje and Jerry Hopkinson for talks. They committed to sign up to the standard, which enhances their existing hard work to prevent pellet loss.
This is really excellent news and I was delighted to present PD Ports with an award yesterday at the BPF’s Parliamentary reception to recognise this milestone – which will hopefully encourage ports all over the country to follow suit!
If you can, do join Saltburn Beachwatch this Saturday for their big autumn beach clean which will take place at 11am.
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