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'Send marine litter back to companies who produced it'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 21, 2012

  • The Surfers Against Sewage 'Return To Offender' weekend calls on the public to challenge industry on marine litter

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Rubbish collected from beaches in the South West will be put back on the doorsteps of its manufacturers in a campaign designed to shame big business into action.

Pioneering environmental group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) says it has been forced to take direct action after the amount of marine litter washed up on the sands doubled in 15 years.

This weekend, they will stage their latest Return to the Offender event, to pressure manufacturers to do more to raise awareness about their packaging.

Dom Ferris, SAS beach litter officer said everyone could do their bit to help keep the region's beaches pristine.

"SAS's Return To Offender initiative is a powerful reminder to manufacturers that they should do more to tackle the marine litter crisis," he said.

"Please get involved with making sure your beach has a voice as part of the Return To Offender weekend."

The initiative is an activity designed to help individuals and communities confront businesses with items of litter found on UK beaches.

It calls on them to take specific actions including:

Increasing anti-littering messaging on their products to inform consumers about reuse, recycling and proper disposal.

Reducing the amount of packaging used for their products.

Identifying less harmful packaging options to safeguard the environment.

Supporting environmental initiatives and community activities to protect oceans and beaches.

SAS says their direct method is a tried and tested one since it was first rolled out in 2006.

According to the charity, 5% of all litter found in the UK is from one company, Coca Cola.

However, SAS said that thanks to their Return To Offender campaign Coca Cola has already responded positively and made packaging changes.

The weekend of activity will see SAS campaigners and supporters from Land's End to the Orkney Islands collect and returning to manufacturers pieces of marine litter.

It will also highlight particular sources of marine litter and solutions that may be able to contribute to its reduction.

The weekend will encourage individual beach cleans through SAS regional representatives, supporters and activists.

To get involved and find out how to return litter to manufacturers see www.sas.org.uk

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