Environment News | Headlines and Top Stories
- 30 April 2009 | Environment
Clean water campaigners from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) believe that the UK Government urgently needs a National Marine Litter Strategy to tackle the worsening crisis of litter in our oceans and across our beaches.
Co-ordinated action directed by the Prime Minister is vital in order to reduce the tide of plastic and other manmade debris washing up on the UK’s shores each and every day.
On the opening day of the WQS O’Neill Cold Water Classic, SAS were joined by some of the world’s best surfers to call for the Prime Minister to take urgent action to increase protection levels for our oceans in relation to litter.
SAS campaigners were joined by O’Neill team rider Sam Lamiroy and UK pro surfers Alan Stokes, Mark ‘Egor’ Harris, Oli Adams who, amongst many others, have shown their support for the petition.
SAS is urging its supporters and the wider public to sign the petition calling for the implementation of a National Marine Litter Strategy, which will help protect the UK’s coastline, oceans and waves for generations to come.
At the O’Neill Cold Water Classic, SAS’s anti-litter campaigns are taking a three-pronged attack on this critical issue; mobilising personal action, lobbying industry and petitioning the Prime Minister.
Marine litter is often the most obvious environmental issue threatening our beaches. This plethora of plastics and other litter is not only an eyesore, but also a persistent danger to surfers, beach users, recreational water sports enthusiasts, and the beautiful wildlife and natural habitats all around the UK’s coastline.
It also represents a real threat to the fishing and tourism industries, and impacts on local councils who often pay large sums to take marine litter off our beaches.
To complement the petition to the Prime Minister, SAS will be lobbying industry as part of its Return To Offender campaign. SAS will send back in the post companies’ identifiable litter found at the Thurso beach clean, calling on them to improve their anti-litter labelling and packaging policies to find less damaging, degradable alternatives to materials currently used.
SAS Campaign Manager Andy Cummins says: “Thurso’s a great wave and one of the most remote venues for a surf competition. But like most surf spots in the UK it’s plagued with plastics and other marine litter. Join SAS and call for the Prime Minister to implement a National Marine Litter Strategy to protect our beloved beaches and surf spots.”
O’Neill Professional Surfer Sam Lamiroy says: “Surf spots all over the country are littered with plastics. SAS are having a positive impact with their beach cleans and by confronting industry but we need more action from the top. Let’s all put some pressure on the Government to clean up our oceans, we need your help, so sign SAS’s petition now! Thanks!”
Source: Surfers Against Sewage
- 20 March 2009 | Environment
Clean water campaigners from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) took their giant soapbox to the Hayle Co-operative supermarket today to launch SAS’s new ‘Go Phosphate Free’ campaign ahead of World Water Day (on the 22nd of March).
The SAS campaigners gave away over 600 samples of phosphate free Ecover washing powders to shoppers as a positive example of a low impact alternative.
Phosphates in washing powders can often pass through the sewage treatment works untouched. Once these phosphates enter our rivers and seas, they can cause eutrophication, or over-enrichment. Over-enrichment of our rivers and seas can result in harmful algal blooms. Excessive phosphates can result in an inability to support life, effectively turning our rivers, seas and our beloved surf spots into dead-zones.
SAS are lobbying the Government for a ban on laundry based phosphate detergents. This will help the UK meet targets set by the EU Water Framework Directive whilst delivering cost savings for water companies and hopefully taking the pressure off bill payers.
It’s estimated a ban would cost the detergent industry £4 million, a tiny percentage of their £500-£600 million annual profits. Water companies have already invested £950 million on phosphate removal since the mid 90s and will require a further £500 million to protect waters identified as “sensitive” to eutrophication under the EU Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.
The majority of detergent manufacturers already produce phosphate free washing powders based on zeolites. These low impact alternatives are comparable in price and performance with the polluting phosphate products.
The UK is one of the heaviest users of phosphate washing powders amongst EU countries. In fact, the UK is in the minority among western EU nations not having restrictions on phosphate washing powders.
SAS Campaign Manager, Andy Cummins says: “Today’s SAS’s action was aimed at surfers, waveriders and consumers, so whilst SAS lobby the Government, we can all make small changes in our everyday lives to combat this problem. Choosing to go phosphate free with your washing powder will help protect the environment we are love so much, our beautiful rivers, seas and of course our beloved surf spots!”
Paul Westaway, manager of Hayle Co-operative food store said: "SAS should be congratulated for highlighting the link between our everyday actions and the impact they have on the environment, and we are glad The Co-operative could help reinforce this message."
Source: Surfers Against Sewage
- 17 March 2009 | Environment
Last Thursday, Queensland, Australia, suffered one of its worst environmental disasters.
A cargo ship leaked tons of fuel into the ocean after cyclonic seas caused containers of ammonium nitrate to break loose and rip giant holes in the hull of the ship.
Why the ship was out in these rough sea conditions will be the subject of a full investigation.
To date, the total amount of oil spilled has not been determined, but a spokesman for the company Swire Shipping, Ltd.
which owns the vessel in question, says that it's believed to be significantly more than the 11,000 gallons originally estimated.
- Surfrider wins battle court over Palm Beach protection
- Coca-Cola and Quiksilver help cleaner beaches in Bali
- Surfers Against Sewage celebrate full treatment of Guernsey waters
- Bob Mignogna gets the 2008 Wavemaker Outstanding Contribution Award by Surfrider Foundation
- UK has new regulations to prevent sewage pollution from ships
- Lost shipping cargo threats surfers in Kent and East Sussex