Row For the Ocean on battle against plastics

1st November, 2018
Rowing against the tide – Row for the Ocean’s fight against plastics 

An all-female team of eco-warriors, who are set to row the Atlantic Ocean in December, are rowing against the proverbial high tide when it comes to the challenge of plastic waste in our oceans.

Row for the Ocean’s transatlantic challenge, which will see the Exeter-based crew row more than 3000-miles, represents more than just a physical challenge but one that the whole world needs to partake in. 

Single-use plastic is the biggest threat to our oceans and beaches. Plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world, from busy tourist beaches to uninhabited, tropical islands - nowhere is safe.

Shockingly, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and one million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually.

Team member Laura Try said: “Plastic is destroying our oceans and its inhabitants; it’s one of the biggest challenges we as a world are facing and we have to act now.

“As a society we appear to be so far removed from what actually happens to our waste, we put it in the bin and it gets taken away. It’s an out of sight, out of mind mentality and that needs to change. 

“We need to wake up and realise the damage it is doing and has done to our oceans. Whilst we welcome the tax on plastic packaging for manufacturers, announced in the Budget, it needs to be implemented now not in four years’ time.

“One of the biggest issues is single-use take-away plastic. We need to introduce a tax at point of sale, which would help to deter consumers and make them think about the impact of their choices,” explained Laura.

“We’ve seen it work for plastic bags, why not other nonsensical items like coffee cups and straws.”

Laura insists not everyone needs to row 3000-miles across the Atlantic in a rowing boat, no more than two-metres wide and seven-metres long to make a difference.

She explained: “Everyone has a part to play in reducing our plastic usage, it can be as simple as investing in your own reusable coffee cup or not using disposable cutlery.”

Row for the Ocean’s living with less plastic tips:

1) Bring your own shopping bag
2) Use a reusable water bottle 
3) Bring your own coffee cup 
4) Use reusable food containers
5) Say no to disposable straws and cutlery
6) Don’t bother with plastic bags for your fruit and vegetables
7) Cook-in and skip the take-away
8) Use glass jars for leftovers 
9) Spread the word – tell your friends how to stop using plastic 

The Row for the Ocean team start their 3000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from the Canary Islands to Antigua on 12 December 2018, weather permitting. 

As an all-women crew of four, Rosalind Holsgrove-West, Kirsty Baker, Kate Salmon and Laura Try will spend more than a month at sea.