Skip to content

Coronavirus and plastic pollution: ‘the fight goes on’

  • by JW

5 September – 18 October: Surfers Against Sewage: “The Generation Sea: Plastic Protest”

Coronavirus hits, and the take-up of single-use plastic around the world increases dramatically.


Back in May, it was becoming clear that we were having a problem with more plastic being thrown away:

Coronavirus and plastic pollution – Vision Group for Sidmouth


Things are not getting any better.

The Surfers Against Sewage are launching a campaign tomorrow:


From 5 September to 18 October, Surfers Against Sewage will be launching a campaign called The Generation Sea: Plastic Protest aimed at encouraging grass-roots action across the UK. As well as 600 beach and river cleans, the campaign will also involve highlighting the brands whose packaging is found most regularly. 

Under a measure called Return to Offender, plastic items will be displayed on social media to name and shame the companies responsible for the products.

Coronavirus: Pandemic ‘causing new wave’ of plastic pollution – BBC News

Ocean Activists Unite for Post-Lockdown Plastic Protest • Surfers Against Sewage


And earlier this week, Hugh and Anita were looking at the issues:


War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita: The Fight Goes On

It is over a year since Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani launched their war on plastic, revealing the enormity of the problem of single-use plastics.

In this follow-up episode, Hugh and Anita ratchet up their efforts a gear as they take on the companies that make tea bags and sandwiches, continue the battle with fast-food companies and their plastic toy giveaways and challenge a British family to go plastic free on a budget.

We eat around six million prepacked sandwiches every day. Hugh wants to know what happens to all the plastic-lined packaging. Are they as widely recycled as the labelling suggests? He is horrified to discover that the industry is not as transparent as it seems. We also drink around 100 million cups of tea every day. Anita has heard that tea bags may hide a dirty plastic secret. Experiments in a lab confirm her fears and give her the information she needs to confront the brands responsible. And we all know that doing a weekly shop without accumulating bin-loads of plastic can be expensive. Like most of us, the Oliver family from Berwick shop on a budget, but they also want to go plastic free. They challenge Anita to show them how making innovative switches can really help with the plastic problem, without costing the earth.

But then coronavirus hits, and the take-up of single-use plastic around the world increases dramatically. In hospitals and care homes this makes complete sense, but what about the rest of us? Anita and Hugh investigate whether it is any safer to buy fruit and veg wrapped in plastic and discover the problem with single-use disposable plastic masks.

BBC One – War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita, The Fight Goes On


image: Plastic-Tideline-and-Surfer-Pewrranporth-c-Surfers-Against-Sewage