ICELAND FOODS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION AND SURFERS AGAINST SEWAGE LAUNCH MAJOR NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP

Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF) and national marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), announce a new two year partnership to grow the ‘Plastic-Free Communities’ movement and take the fight against avoidable single-use plastic into new communities across the UK.

The partnership will support three areas:

  • The award-winning ‘Plastic-Free Communities’ campaign which will see IFCF and Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) expand efforts across coastal, rural and urban areas across the UK
  • A Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit To Sea to take place in April 2019 and 2020, which will empower 100,000 community volunteers to tackle plastic pollution and litter. This will be the first time the clean series has incorporated mountain and street cleans, alongside rivers and beaches
  • The first ever Plastic-Free Community Awards, to recognise, reward and celebrate those leading the fight to reduce and eliminate avoidable single-use plastics which will take place in November 2019

Building on the success of SAS’s award-winning ‘Plastic-Free Communities’ initiative, the new partnership will further galvanize individuals, small businesses, local government, schools and community groups to take action to reduce their collective single-use plastic footprint and reduce their impact on the local environment.

The ‘Plastic-Free Communities’ pilot initiative was launched by SAS in 2017 as a community led initiative to free where we live from avoidable single-use plastic. The initiative has received overwhelming support from over 400 communities across the UK, all of which have signed up to take action and reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their towns, cities, rural and coastal spaces. Plastic-Free Communities activity is taking place in a wide and diverse range of locations including Aberystwyth, Chester, Penzance, Hackney, Camden and Brighton.

As part of this movement, the partnership will expand one of the UK’s largest ever environmental ‘clean-ups’, the Big Spring Beach Clean, to include mountain and street cleans, alongside hundreds of rivers and beaches. The Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit to Sea will take place in April 2019 and 2020, and will tackle plastic and litter in at least 1,500 communities with the support of over 100,000 volunteers.

The partnership follows Iceland’s commitment at the beginning of 2018 to be the first retailer globally to commit to removing plastic from all own label food products by the end of 2023.

To recognise individuals and organisations leading the way in the fight against avoidable single-use plastic, the partnership will also see the launch of the UK’s first ever Plastic-Free Community Awards. Taking place in July 2019 and 2020, the awards will celebrate

individuals, local businesses, artists, schools, campaigners, volunteers and other champions tackling the scourge plastic pollution.

Richard Walker, Trustee of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and Managing Director of Iceland Foods said: “Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and Surfers Against Sewage are passionate about tackling the scourge of plastic head on and we know that momentum is building in communities across the UK. Iceland has a presence on high streets up and down the country so it seems only fitting that we should engage at a community level, encouraging individuals and organisations to join us as we move towards fulfilling our own plastics commitment.”

Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation to expand and celebrate the Plastic-Free Communities movement across the UK. Together, we’ll be empowering 100,000 community volunteers to tackle plastic pollution and litter in important local spaces including beaches, coastal paths, mountains, rivers, rural and urban areas.

“We’ll also be celebrating the achievements of the finest plastic-free pioneers across the UK, with the first ever Plastic-Free Community Awards, which will recognise those most committed to the fight for a plastic-free future.”

Mountaineer and explorer Kenton Cool said: “The outdoor community has truly acted as a great catalyst for change. If we don’t take action against plastics now, it will be too late and I’m excited the see this new partnership further mobilise communities to make a difference in their local area.”

The announcement was marked with a screening at Kendal Mountain Festival of a short film made by Richard Walker and mountaineer and adventurer Kenton Cool. At the Festival Iceland and SAS also hosted a panel debate on plastics and the impact of plastic pollution on the environment.

Iceland and SAS previously partnered earlier this year to launch Bread Board beer, a pale ale made from Iceland’s unsold bread. Iceland donates 10p from each bottle sold to the charity to help fund UK beach cleans and other initiatives that champion the reduction of avoidable single use plastic consumption.

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