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Nearly 7,000 in Wales sign up for UK’s biggest ever plastics investigation

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THE BIG PLASTIC COUNT, the UK’s biggest ever investigation into household plastic waste, kicks off today.

Over 140,000 are planning to take part across the country, including schools, Westminster MPs, community groups, businesses, families and individuals. 6,804 people in Wales have signed up, including nine MPs and 80 teachers who will be taking part with their classes.

The Big Plastic Count is a collaboration between Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace UK.

Celebrities including Chris Packham, Joanna Lumley and Bonnie Wright are also taking part.

94 cross-party Westminster MPs, including 9 from Wales, 3,500 school classes from all over the UK and People’s Postcode Lottery have also signed up.

The UK produces more plastic waste per person than any other country except the USA.

In 2018, the country generated 5.2 million tonnes of plastic waste, enough to fill Wembley Stadium six times over.

The UK also exports vast quantities of plastic waste abroad, as highlighted last year by Greenpeace’s Wasteminster viral animation.

The Big Plastic Count will reveal how much plastic packaging waste is leaving UK homes and what happens to it after we throw it away.

This will provide a national snapshot of our plastic waste problem, filling a crucial evidence gap and showing the UK government and supermarkets that they must act to tackle the problem.

Chris Packham said: “The UK is one of the worst plastic polluters in the world. Our broken recycling system doesn’t work so instead of dealing with our plastic waste ourselves, we send vast quantities of it overseas where it’s out of sight and out of mind for us, but destroying nature and harming people elsewhere.”

“The Big Plastic Count is such an exciting project. It will, for the first time, tell ordinary people what happens to their plastic waste after we throw it away, and we hope it will force the government to take action and address the plastic waste crisis.”

Chris Thorne, plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “The biggest ever investigation into the UK’s plastic waste is officially underway.”

“We’re delighted that so many people across Wales have signed up, making clear once again that the public is concerned about their plastic waste, and want to see genuine action from the government to turn the tide on our plastics crisis.”

“That means an immediate end to us dumping our waste on other countries like Turkey, and legally binding targets that actually tackle the plastic problem at source.”

Daniel Webb of Everyday Plastic said: “I decided to count all of my plastic waste for a whole year back in 2017. Doing so helped me to understand my personal plastic footprint, which completely shocked me and drove me to begin campaigning for change. ”

The results from The Big Plastic Count will show us what’s really happening to our plastic waste, at a national scale, and inspire thousands of participants to demand real action to stem the tide of plastic packaging.

“This really is a crucial moment in the struggle against the plastic problem.”

“We hope the results of The Big Plastic Count will persuade the government, supermarkets and big brands to take bold steps to tackle the plastic crisis once and for all, which is extremely exciting, perhaps even revolutionary.”

Every participant will record the different types of plastic packaging waste they throw away, and submit their results. This will generate a national picture of our plastic waste, demonstrating the scale of the problem and putting even more pressure on the government to act.

The unique methodology behind the Big Plastic Count was developed by Everyday Plastic’s founder, Daniel Webb.

He collected every piece of his plastic waste for a year, and worked with a scientific researcher to turn this into a robust methodology which the public can now use to discover what happens to their plastic waste when they throw it away.

Surveying by YouGov for Greenpeace UK found that while over three-quarters (77%) of people in the UK recycle plastic products to reduce their waste, almost as many (75%) don’t know what happens to their plastic recycling after they throw it away.

Greenpeace UK and Everyday Plastic will release the results of the survey as soon as they have been processed. Campaigners hope these results will push the UK government to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025, ban all plastic waste exports and implement a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for recycling and reuse.

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Carmarthen representation at the Coastal Rowing World Championships backs sport to continue thriving in Wales

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Carmarthen’s Zoe Davies, race committee chair for the British Rowing offshore championships and umpire at the upcoming World Championships in Saundersfoot, is
delighted to see the world’s best coming to South Wales – and following her own eventful
introduction to the sport competing at the 2015 World Championships believes
participation will boom thanks to a home major competition.
The World Coastal Rowing Championships 2022, with the likes of two-time Olympic
champion Helen Glover competing, will bring together two exciting formats of rowing across
the two weekends in Pembrokeshire. On the first weekend beginning on 7th October, the top
club coastal rowers from around the world will compete in a course along the Saundersfoot
coastline, followed by the beach sprint rowing the following weekend.
Tipped to be a future Olympic rowing discipline, the beach sprint finals will be an exciting
and fast-paced spectacle where the best of the sport will be celebrated in Wales. Reflecting
on the excitement building as the World Championships near ever closer, Davies is backing
Wales to be the perfect setting.
“Wales already had an established coastal and offshore rowing community – I knew when
British Rowing were bidding to host the World Championships that it was a no-brainer. We
have water on three sides after all!
“Before 2015, and before I competed at the World Coastal Championships in Peru, I was
coxing the really fine boats you see at the Olympics, what people might consider the
classical rowing you’d expect to see. To be honest, I rated myself and when I was asked to
compete in Peru I thought ‘how hard can it be?’ When I got there – I was quite literally out
of my depth, I had no idea where I was.
“I’ve learnt so much being involved in coastal rowing – I have found its great fun, great
technique – and if you’re watching, it’s so easy to engage with. For people like me, who at
one time was almost snobby about it, it’s an eye-opening when you actually watch and
involve yourself in the sport. That’s why the World Championships here in Wales will be
such a big moment, it will no doubt inspire so many new people to get involve in the sport.
“Having done the two previous events at Saundersfoot in preparation for the World
Championships, the coastal rowing scene is just so friendly. Being a local girl myself, the
Welsh are always welcoming!
“What drives this passion in the sport is that people know how much coastal rowing gives
them. The feeling you get out on the water, where you’re not looking at your mobile phone
and you can enjoy the natural setting you’re in, there’s no wonder everyone is so
passionate.”

“From a spectator point of view, I just know everyone will be glued to the action. The racing
is quick, you don’t need to know rowing to enjoy the competition and understand what is
happening. It’s a day at the beach, it’s a completely unique experience because the area is
stunning – Wales is the perfect setting for the world’s best offshore rowing talent.”
With the discipline growing at an exponential rate, as boats are made available across Wales
for grassroots coastal rowing clubs to engage more and more participants, Davies sees a
bright future for the sport – and a new generation inspired by a World Championships
coming to Wales.

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Popular physical activity game Beat the Street gets underway in Llanelli

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BEAT THE STREET is a free, interactive game that encourages people of all ages to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives by rewarding teams with points and prizes the further they walk, cycle and roll.

There are prizes for the teams that travel the furthest with vouchers for books and sports equipment. There is a total points leader board and an average leader board so opportunities for teams of all sizes to win.

Beeping and flashing sensors called Beat Boxes will be placed on lampposts around the area for the duration of the six-week game. Primary school pupils will be provided with a player pack containing a map and a card for the child and an accompanying adult. The wider community can pick up a contactless card from a distribution point listed at www.beatthestreet.me/llanelli

Players then travel between the contactless Beat Boxes scoring points with their cards as they go. The further players travel, the more points they score for their community or school team. Each week is themed with different activities to help participants get the most out of their Beat the Street experience.

Beat the Street Llanelli is provided by Intelligent Health, commissioned by Carmarthenshire County Council and is supported by Sport Wales.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism Cllr Gareth John, said: “We are delighted to bring this innovative and compelling game to Llanelli and we can’t wait to see how far everyone is able to walk, run, cycle and scoot. The game brings a competitive element to physical activity, but more than that, unites communities, helps people get to know their local area, reduces carbon emissions and improves both physical activity and mental health.”

More information is available at the Llanelli | Beat the Street website and on social media @BTSLlanelli

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Gêm gweithgaredd corfforol boblogaidd Beat the Street wedi cychwyn yn Llanelli

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Mae Beat the Street yn gêm ryngweithiol, rhad ac am ddim sy’n annog pobl o bob oedran i ymgorffori gweithgaredd corfforol yn eu bywydau bob dydd trwy wobrwyo timau â phwyntiau a gwobrau po bellaf y maent yn cerdded, beicio a rholio.

Mae’r timau sy’n teithio bellaf yn cael eu gwobrwyo gyda thalebau ar gyfer llyfrau ac offer chwaraeon. Mae yna fwrdd arweinwyr ar gyfer cyfanswm pwyntiau ac hefyd bwrdd arweinwyr cyfartaledd felly mae cyfleoedd i dimau o bob maint ennill.

Bydd synwyryddion o’r new ‘Beat Boxes’ sy’n bîpio a fflachio yn cael eu gosod ar bolion lampau o amgylch yr ardal am gyfnod y gêm chwe wythnos. Bydd disgyblion ysgol gynradd yn cael pecyn chwaraewr sy’n cynnwys map a cherdyn ar gyfer y plentyn ac oedolyn sy’n dod gyda nhw. Gall y gymuned ehangach godi cerdyn digyswllt o bwynt dosbarthu a restrir yn www.beatthestreet.me/llanelli.

Yna mae chwaraewyr yn teithio rhwng y ‘Beat Boxes’ digyswllt gan sgorio pwyntiau gyda’u cardiau wrth fynd. Po bellaf y bydd chwaraewyr yn teithio, y mwyaf o bwyntiau y byddant yn eu sgorio ar gyfer eu tîm cymunedol neu ysgol. Mae thema bob wythnos gyda gwahanol weithgareddau i helpu cyfranogwyr i gael y gorau o’u profiad Beat the Street.

Mae Beat the Street Llanelli yn cael ei ddarparu gan Intelligent Health, wedi ei gomisiynu gan Gyngor Sir Caerfyrddin ac yn cael ei gefnogi gan Chwaraeon Cymru,.

Dywedodd y Cynghorydd Gareth John, yr Aelod Cabinet dros Adfywio, Hamdden, Diwylliant a Thwristiaeth: “Rydym yn falch iawn o ddod â’r gêm arloesol a chymhellol hon i Lanelli ac rydym yn edrych ymlaen at weld pa mor bell y gall pawb gerdded, rhedeg, beicio a sgwtera. Mae’r gêm yn dod ag elfen gystadleuol i weithgarwch corfforol, ond yn fwy na hynny, mae’n uno cymunedau, yn helpu pobl i ddod i adnabod eu hardal leol, yn lleihau allyriadau carbon ac yn gwella gweithgarwch corfforol ac iechyd meddwl.”

Mae rhagor o wybodaeth ar gael ar wefan Llanelli | Beat the Street ac ar gyfryngau cymdeithasol @BTSLlanelli

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