Reflections from Mark Orr, Executive Director, UK and Ireland Spill Association

“I was recently in Holland in Den Haag for the Sailing World Championships. I was impressed with the city’s commitment to reducing GHG with solar, and wind turbines offshore and inland, and investment in initiatives to reduce plastic pollution in the streets and on the beaches. I attended a museum whose total floor space was dedicated to fun ways children, and their parents, could reduce the harms their living does to the environment – heating oil vs heat pump; diesel car vs Electric or Hybrid car; walking or cycling rather than taking the car; using the tram rather than clogging the city with cars and their pollution; live readouts of air quality in different parts of the city; waste bins with signs encouraging responsible disposal; deposit return schemes run by the local authority, etc. It all seemed far removed from action being taken in the UK.

I was touched by a pop-up exhibition called ‘When I dive into your ocean’ staged in a busy shopping street that focussed on how plastic is ruining the life in our ocean both through nurdle spills and plastic pollution. This striking image of a child paddling through a tide of plastic was touching and I will share further images with you over the coming months.”

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