Cal Uses Paddle Power to Protest Plastic Pollution on Epic River Severn Expedition
Published 9 Sep 2020 in Community
Environmental activist, Cal Major, is paddling along the UK’s longest river to raise awareness of plastic pollution in British waterways, with support from The Midcounties Co-operative.
Cal Major’s Paddle Against Plastic expedition will see her follow the 354km River Severn from its first navigable point on the Welsh/English border out to sea, through Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
Cal will be setting off on 9th September and aims to finish the expedition on 16th September, collecting litter she finds along the way and spreading the word about how everyone can make small changes to reduce the impact on the oceans.
The expedition will be funded by Midcounties Co-operative, the UK’s largest independent co-operative, as part of its partnership with Cal.
It comes as the Society was named Responsible Business Champion 2020 by Business in the Community for its work to remove two tonnes of single-use plastic from its operations. A major part of this work has seen The Midcounties Co-operative replace all single-use plastic carrier bags with compostable bags in over 140 of its Food stores, eliminating more than three million plastic bags per year.
Cal Major said: “The expedition will explore the course that plastic rubbish takes from source to the sea, and the relationship between our lives inland and the oceans.
Plastic bags were one of the most common items I saw stuck in trees along the banks of the River Severn when I paddled a part of it en route to John O'Groats in 2018.
Removing single-use plastic bags from stores is a truly important step in reducing the local communities' contribution to the marine litter crisis.
No matter how far inland we live, we are all connected with the oceans and through small individual actions we can all collaboratively make a big difference.”
Phil Ponsonby, chief executive at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Social responsibility is at the heart of everything we do, and we are proud of the success that we have had in removing single-use plastics from the communities where we live and work.
We know our members care deeply about the environment, which is why we’re supporting Cal as she sets out on her amazing expedition to shine a light on the way plastics that are disposed of on land are ultimately finding their way to the open ocean, where they can have a devastating impact on sea life.
We’d urge everyone to consider how they can do their bit to stop plastic pollution, which could be by stopping using single-use plastics or taking the time to join in on local community clean-up activities.”
Along the way, Cal will be creating video blogs and posting on social media with the hashtag #PaddleAgainstPlastic and @midcountiescoop so followers can keep up with her progress.
You can also track Cal's progress along the way with the live tracker by clicking here.
Help us defend our environment for the better! #PaddleAgainstPlastic
To continue our efforts to tackle single-use plastics our Environmental Ambassador, Cal Major, is embarking on an expedition from 9th to the 16th September to explore the course of plastic from source to sea along the River Severn, and the relationship between our lives inland and the oceans, and we want to engage our members in the journey.
We are encouraging you, our members, to virtually follow Cal Major on our #paddleagainstplastic expedition of the River Severn from today and to make pledges to help tackle plastic litter pollution throughout this expedition.
Cal is aiming to connect the dots between the plastic used on land and that in the ocean through education, and to consequently empower small changes in behaviour to positively affect the marine litter crisis, reconnecting people to nature on our doorsteps.
Rivers provide a perfect opportunity to do all of these - demonstrating our link between actions on land and impacts in the oceans, via the nature superhighways flowing through our country to the ocean.