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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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RNLI releases vital beach safety advice in the South Wales as temperatures set to rise

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WITH temperatures forecast to hit mid-20s in some parts of the South Wales, the RNLI charity is offering lifesaving advice to anyone heading to the area’s coastline. 

With the Met Office prediction of a warm weekend, the charity’s advice to those visiting the coast is to choose lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. We encourage you to visit our website to find details of their nearest lifeguarded beaches. 

Figures released show that RNLI lifeguards in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend and Denbighshire aided 888 children and 715 teenagers in 2020 

The RNLI, with the support of HM Coastguard, is urging everyone to remember to Float to Live if they get into trouble in the water. To do this: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard. 

RNLI Water Safety Lead Chris Cousens said: “Our main advice is to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags. RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling around 245 beaches this summer to offer advice on how to stay safe and they are also there to help anyone who gets into trouble. 

“Children should be supervised at all times and people of all ages should avoid swimming alone. 

“We want people to enjoy the coast but urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.”

For further information on the water safety campaign visit: RNLI.org/FloatWales2022

Interviews with an RNLI spokesperson are available.

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Jenny will tackle Ironman Swansea in aid of charity close to her heart

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A SKETTY woman will be taking on the Ironman 70.3 Swansea to raise funds for a charity to close to her heart – Wales Air Ambulance.

Jenny Rose, who describes herself as ‘no triathlete’ is raising funds after the Charity’s medics helped saved her mother’s life after she suffered ‘one of the worst brain haemorrhages a person could have’.

In 2016 Jenny’s mum Jackie was out in Oxwich Leisure Park, in the Gower when she became ill and collapsed.

Jenny explained: “She suffered one of the worst brain haemorrhages a person could have.

She collapsed, thankfully my father found her and was able to call 999. The air ambulance team flew her to University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff where she received life saving surgery. 

“For anyone that knows my mother, they will know what an incredible person she is. She has always dedicated her life to making other people’s lives better. Through a career in the NHS, as a sister, senior nurse in A&E, prison nurse and now vice chairman of a local charity – ‘Forget Me Not’.

“If it wasn’t for the air ambulance, my mother would not be here today. I will forever be eternally grateful for them.”

Following her brain haemorrhage, Jackie underwent emergency surgery and remained in the high dependency unit for ten days. Just 14 days later she was discharged from hospital and remarkably returned to work as a nurse four months after she collapsed.

Jenny added: “Mum has a brain scan every year and the neurosurgical team always remark on the fact that the timely nature of arriving at University Hospital of Wales was the main factor for full recovery with no brain damage.  We are all so proud of her and so grateful to the Wales Air Ambulance for saving her life, allowing her to continue being the most incredible woman, wife, mother and grandmother that continues to serve others and put everyone else first.”

Jenny Rose with her parents

Jenny will not be taking on the challenge alone, which consists of a 1.2 mile sea swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1mile run, she will be joined by her father Mike. They have already raised £755 of their £5,000 fundraising target.

Jenny who works as a Support Facilitator at Tata Steel added: “I’m delighted to say that I’ll be taking on this challenge with my machine of a father, who is still an athlete at the golden age of 60. It’s a pretty crazy challenge to sign up to as I’m no triathlete, but I’d like to use this as a chance to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance. The Wales Air Ambulance is funded purely with donations, it requires an astonishing £8 million a year to keep its four helicopters in the sky, saving precious lives across Wales.” 

The Wales Air Ambulance Charity 24/7 emergency service offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world.

They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care. 

Jackie has recovered well from her brain haemorrhage and currently works ‘tirelessly with the dementia day club to move them forward and raise awareness’, which has brought such a positive impact to the local community over the past few years.

Jackie is currently leading a project to develop a beautiful garden area for individuals and families living with dementia to enjoy, which is located at Siloam Baptist Church, Killay.

Ironman Swansea will take place on Sunday 7 August 2022.

Jane Griffiths, Community Fundraising Manager for Wales Air Ambulance said: “Good luck to Jenny and her father Mike on their up-and-coming Ironman Swansea. The event is one that many people would shy away from. Both Jenny and Mike know how important the Wales Air Ambulance is to the people of Wales. It is wonderful to hear that Jackie is now well. Fundraisers, like Jenny’s, will help us raise the £8 million every year to keep our emergency helicopters in the air and our rapid response vehicles on the road. Thank you both for supporting our Charity.”

Jenny’s friends and family are very proud of her and are giving her plenty of encouragement.

She currently has a triathlon coach to help prepare her for the day.

You can show your support to Jenny and Mike by donating to their Just Giving Page Ironman (70.3 mile) Swansea challenge – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jenny-rose89

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Over 600 people attend International Family Celebration of Food to mark the Platinum Jubilee

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(Central Left to Right) Cllr Phiip Walow, Llanelli Town Mayor, Patryk Gowin, Polish Vice Consul, Cllr Rob Evans Chair, Carmarthenshire County Council surrounded by members of the Polish and Ukrainian community in Llanelli.

WITH over 600 attendees and foodie representation from over 15 countries including China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, England, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Syria, Wales, Greece, Romania, Philippines, Colombia, El Salvador, Chile, Spain, Nepal and Portugal, the event was a huge success.

Guests had the opportunity to sample delicious home cooked food from around the globe, as well as old Welsh favourites such as Welsh Cakes and Welsh Rarebit served up by the #Cook24 team at Coleg Sir Gar.

Some of the international food available at the event.

There was also a range of activities for children, including a Jubilee Pompom making station, a food memory graffiti wall and a food vlog corner. There was also music and dancing from around the world and a free Jubilee Cupcake for everyone!

The event was attended by Patryk Gowin, Polish Vice Consul, Cllr Phillip Warlow, Llanelli Town Mayor, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council and Cllr Nick Pearce, Deputy Llanelli Town Mayor as well as representatives from The Alternative Learning Company, Foothold Cymru and the Llanelli Multicultural Network.

A graffiti wall for food memories was a popular addition at the event.

Paolo Piana from the Llanelli Multicultural Network says: ‘‘it was amazing to see so many people and so many countries represented at the event. A true celebration of international food, of family and the family of nations we have in Llanelli and Carmarthenshire. A huge thank-you to everybody who made it a memorable day of celebration.’’

Mike Theodoulou, Chair of the Alternative Learning Company said ‘’the importance of community and generations learning from one another about food is so important. There’s so much we can learn and this event was a wonderful way to celebrate our collective foodie knowledge and pass on our skills and story’s’’

(Left to Right): Cllr Nick Pearce  Deputy Mayor of Llanelli, Cllr Nysia Evans Carmarthenshire County Council Chair’s Consort, Cllr Rob Evans Chair, Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Phiip Walow, Llanelli Town  Mayor, Cllr Janet Williams Llanelli Town  Mayoress, Mike Theodoulou, Chair of The Alternative Learning Company, Paolo Piana, Llanelli Multicultural Network.

This event launched the beginning of a yearlong intergenerational cooking project to mark the Platinum Jubilee, which is being run by West Wales youth organisation, The Alternative Learning Company.

Breaking Bread, which is the name of The Alternative Learning Company’s first cooking project to cross generations, will give young people the opportunity to learn about food from the older generations in their community.

Some of the international food available at the event.

Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund’s Platinum Jubilee Fund, the project is bringing together young and older people in Carmarthenshire to cook and enjoy healthy meals on a budget, minimise food waste and share their skills and advice. 

Learning from other generations about good food is an important part of this project, but it’s also about friendship and community.

For more information on the Breaking Bread project and to take part in future events, email info@altlc.co.uk, or call Anneli on: 07903296141

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