October Update: Environmental Sustainability Working Group

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Posted 2nd October 2020

Our first update

Lauren Hall,
Environmental Sustainability Chair

Welcome to the first Watts Gallery Environmental Sustainability Working Group update blog. Our working group was established in 2018 and is made up of one member from each department, who meet up each month. We carry on Watts's interest in preserving nature by focusing on ways we can reduce our site emissions and our waste, as well as developing a sustainable travel project. Our group sends regular updates to all our staff, sharing wider news and further resources on the subject on environmental sustainability. We have now decided to share these with our visitors and supporters too! Keep reading to find out more about the last month's updates.

4 September

It has been announced that single plastic bag charges are set to increase from 5p to 10p in the UK in order to continue the fight against single-use plastics. An estimated 5 trillion plastic bags are used globally each year, but since introducing the 5p charge in 2015, the UK has reduced its plastic bag usage by 95%.

In our Shop, our paper alternatives have saved over 100,000 plastic bags from landfill. Click here to find out more from WWF on top tips to reduce your plastic waste.

11 September

The first UK climate assembly made up of members of the public is calling for a tax on frequent flyers, a ban on selling SUVs and a cut in meat consumption as part of the Covid-19 economic recovery. The assembly was made up of 108 people from all walks of life, who took part in meetings to discuss reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Click here for more information.

Today marks the beginning of the Great British September Tidy. From 11-27 September, make a pledge to spend as little as 15 minutes tidying up your local area. This could be done whilst taking the dog for a walk or taking the kids to the park! Click here to find out more.

2 October

This week is David Attenborough Appreciation week!

This Sunday, Netflix will release David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, a new film where the broadcaster recounts his life, and the evolutionary history of life on Earth, to grieve the loss of wild places and offer a vision for the future.

You can still watch Extinction: The Facts on BBC iPlayer, where Attenborough explores how the crisis in biodiversity has consequences for us all, including putting us at greater risk of pandemic diseases.

Attenborough has also joined Instagram! The page is managed by the team of A Life on Our Planet, posting special stories recorded by Attenborough himself. The page has been launched as a new way for Attenborough's message to reach a wider audience. Click here to see his Instagram page or for more information, visit www.attenboroughfilm.com.

To finish on a different note, as of yesterday, legislation which bans plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds has been bought into force in England having been delayed from its original deadline of April due to Covid-19. Click here for more information.

Click here to find out more about our Environmental Sustainability Working Group.

Image: Andy Newbold 2020