Improving the planet – Julie Deverick – BSDHT

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  Posted by: probe-admin      11th June 2019

Over the last couple of years, media attention surrounding plastic waste and the effects it is having on our marine environments has taken the spotlight. We’ve seen the Blue Planet, we are aware of the dangers of plastics and what they mean for marine animals, and yet still there are big changes to be made, especially within healthcare industries.

However, the problem with this approach is that a number of the really big changes that need to be made are mostly out of our hands as dental professionals. For example, a large majority of the plastic waste generated in practice is items such as product packaging. Whilst professionals can write to manufacturers to encourage change, it is an alteration that can only be made gradually, not right away.

As such, once you have taken the steps available to you to try to reduce the plastic waste produced by and the environmental impact of your practice (swapping out single use plastics where possible, switching to digital technology to cut down the use of chemicals, for example), it’s worthwhile seeing if you can help your local communities tackle the plastic problem. This is a good chance to raise money for charities that are dedicated to clearing up plastic waste and bettering our planet, and to engage with the local community.

For practices near the seaside this is an especially good opportunity to make a difference. There are multiple charities that strive to make a difference to the quality of our beaches and keep them plastic free, so why not arrange to join them for a beach clean or raise money by promoting the endeavours in your practice? September 20th– 23rdis the Great British Beach Clean this year – an event organised by the Marine Conservation Society that sees hundreds of people head to the coast to pick up litter. Last year during the event, 8,550 kg of litter were collected from 494 beaches across the country, and this year is set to be even bigger!

You can find out about how to join in here: https://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/greatbritishbeachclean

Surfers Against Sewage is another amazing charity that is helping to fight against plastic pollution in the UK. People are able to organise their own beach cleans with this charity, so why not get your team together and spend the day helping the planet? This is a good way to not only make a positive difference but also build team morale, as working together for a good cause can help forge deeper friendships with your colleagues!

Surfers Against Sewage also takes a number of steps to ensure that it is taking its campaign against plastic further than just clearing beaches of litter. By tracking the branding on the plastic items removed from our shorelines, they have identified which corporations are making these plastic items and have urged them to stop producing plastic packaging in favour of more environmentally friendly alternatives. The charity removed 116 tonnes of plastic from our oceans and shores in 2018 – so why not help them make 2019 even more impressive?

You can find out about Surfers Against Sewage and begin to plan your own beach clean here: https://www.sas.org.uk/

Practices in more landlocked areas can make a big difference too. Have you ever thought about teaming up with a river charity to help catch plastic and other litter before it reaches our oceans? What about hosting a litter picking session of your local community so that you can clear the streets of any discarded rubbish? These actions not only help to ensure that your local area remains clean and welcoming, but also goes a long way to protecting our oceans as this litter won’t have a chance to reach them.

 

A good charity to team up with is The Rivers Trust – they help keep the UK green by holding river clear ups, planting trees and taking steps to ensure that our native wildlife remain protected and able to flourish.

To find out more about The Rivers Trust, visit the website here: https://www.theriverstrust.org/who-we-are/about-us/

In the end, it’s so important for us all to remember that the future of our planet is in our hands. By making changes both inside and outside of your practice, together we can all help to keep the plastic away from our seas.

 

For more information about the BSDHT, please visit www.bsdht.org.uk

call 01788 575050 or email enquiries@bsdht.org.uk

 

 

 


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