There's no time to waste - the tide is turning

Campaigning

Have you been watching Blue Planet 2 on the BBC?

From surfing dolphins to freaky fish in the deep, I have been loving every minute of it.

Since Blue Planet started, people have been more concerned about the impact of solid waste and plastics in our oceans. But it’s not only us, it’s politicians too. On 12 December Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the government is considering using the UK aid budget to tackle the “terrible pollution” problem “that is affecting marine life so devastatingly”, after discovering that over half of this waste comes from developing countries, due to poor waste management.

This is encouraging, but our beautiful oceans aren’t the only things being harmed by this waste.

Currently, there are 2 billion people living in poverty who don’t have their waste collected. Could you imagine not having your rubbish picked up? This uncollected waste is often dumped in rivers, causing diarrhoeal diseases to spread in communities. If it isn’t dumped in a river, it is often burnt – causing around 270,000 premature deaths a year. These problems are only going to get worse without investment in proper waste management.

Tearfund believes the best investment the government could make is to spend aid money extending waste collection services to the communities who need it. At the moment, less than 0.3% of aid is spent on tackling waste in poorer countries. Increasing this to just 3% would extend waste services to all and could halve the plastics in our oceans, saving lives at the same time.

If we want to protect our amazing oceans and stop poverty we need to do something about all this waste, which is why we want you to join us in asking Theresa May to make the most of this opportunity for a win-win on waste.

Play your part today:

If we all work together then we could see change! Could you contact Theresa May today to ask her to ensure UK Aid invests in waste management to halve marine litter and help save lives in poorer countries?

1. You could tweet Theresa May - here’s a suggested tweet:

#Plasticpollution isn’t just a problem in our oceans – it’s a health hazard for people in poverty too. UK aid to tackle waste could halve #marinelitter AND help save lives in poorer countries. @Theresa_May @DFID_UK pls take the opportunity for a double win on #waste #BluePlanet

2. If you don’t have a twitter account you could email Theresa May here.

3. Share this blog and ask people to take action!


Tearfund