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Inspired by Sir David Attenborough, alumna student campaigns for beach cleanup scheme

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11 May 2018

After being inspired by Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet Two programme, Harper Adams University alumna Becky Price, 25, has started a ‘Do it for David’ campaign, to raise awareness about the plastic polluting the ocean and shorelines as well as the endangerment to the marine life.

Becky, from Powys, said: “Over the Christmas period, where my family and I decided to take a bracing walk along our local beach in North Wales, but we were dismayed to see so much plastic washed up from the recent storm. It was at this point that we realized there is a huge problem and more needs to be done.

“We decided to put a post on Facebook, using Sir David Attenborough to inspire and motivate people to contribute, thus, ‘Do it for David’ was born.

“Within a week the post had been shared over 2,000 times! Over the following two weeks it was being shared at around 10,000 a day.

“To date it has been shared 190,000 times! People began to send us images of plastic they’d picked up in places like Cuba and Australia. We were even sent an image from a fishmongers in London who had put out a sign stating everything they were doing to reduce their plastic footprint and they finished it with #doitfordavid. Needless to say we were both thrilled.

“Following this reaction, I set up a website and an official facebook page were we began to share more posts about the effects of plastic pollution. We also looked for information on how to recycle and shared ideas about people could reduce their plastic consumption.

“On our website, we began to create a blog, talking about these issues in more detail. Our followers on Facebook are creeping up and we now have over 2,000, not just from the UK but from all around the world.

“We were overwhelmed by the response to the beach clean, with over 50 people turning up. We collected so much rubbish and plastic off the beach that we had to arrange for the council to come to collect it.

“Each time, we collected more rubbish than we anticipated and were shocked by how much is out there in the environment. Hundreds of people have contacted us to say they support what we are doing and have begun to pick it up themselves.

“Our next step was to try to persuade Oswestry and Abersoch to aim for plastic-free status. We wrote to the councils and visited shops to hand out posters and leaflets. The response was very positive and already some businesses have begun to use biodegradable packaging, ditching the plastic straws and bags as well as beginning to recycle more efficiently.

“We still have a long way to go, but we are thrilled by the support of Oswestry town council who have passed a motion to make their offices plastic free and are introducing plastic recycling bins in the town center.

“The council is also supporting us with an event on the May 5, which will run alongside the Saturday market, in honor of Sir David Attenborough’s birthday on the May 8.

“We still have much work to do, as it is clear that plastic pollution is not something that is going to disappear overnight. However, we will continue to campaign until manufacturers, businesses, individuals and the Government listen and do something about this growing crisis.”

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