Bop for the Stop & Swap!

WHAT IS THE #STOPANDSWAP CAMPAIGN?

Over the next four months we’re going to be bopping for North Devon’s #StopAndSwap campaign, to spread more awareness of the threat of single use plastics to our local area. Whilst a huge amount of progress has been made in reducing our use of everyday single use items such as plastic bags, coffee cups and plastic bottles, there is still a very long way to go - We have not converted everyone in North Devon YET.  

Whilst we are extremely grateful to our nearly 4K followers on our Facebook page, subscribers to our newsletter and the actions already being taken - we still have another 90K people to reach in the North Devon area and we need everybody’s help to do this. It doesn’t matter if you have a completely single use plastic free bathroom or whether you have just taken the decision to stop buying single use plastic water bottles or if you are yet to even recognise that you could be part of the solution - we invite you all to join this movement.

We have created the ‘Bop for #StopAndSwap’ campaign to try and create viral and shareable fun content that will reach the masses and encourage everyone to get involved and spread the word (ultimately hoping people will make lasting changes in their own lives too). 

So throw your inhibitions at the moon, get your groove on and tag your friends challenging them to do the same!

Each month we will focus on a specific everyday single-use plastic item highlighting simple swaps, to find out more about each month’s campaign, follow the links below and search #StopAndSwap on Facebook or Instagram.

Month 1 - Plastic bags - The Facts link to a page about plastic bags, stats and alternatives

Month 2 - Plastic bottles - The Facts - page coming soon

Month 3 - Coffee cups - The Facts - page coming soon 

Month 4 - Wet wipes - The Facts - page coming soon

Plastic is an amazing material that plays a positive role in many aspects of our modern life.  However, the characteristics that make it such a useful material (its strength and durability in particular) and its chemical properties make it a toxic, hazardous substance that lasts for hundreds of years when it gets into the natural environment.  

A few facts and figures:

  • 320+ million tonnes of new plastic are manufactured annually - this figure is increasing. 

  • 40% of the plastic produced is for single use packaging.

  • 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic produced since the 1950s. Of which 9% has been recycled, 12% has been burnt and 79% is in the environment as landfill or litter.

  • 8 - 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean annually.  Of which 80% washes and blows in from the land.

  • 1+ million seabirds, 100,000+ sea mammals and turtles are killed annually by marine plastic pollution.

Why does it matter?

A healthy ocean is essential to a healthy planet that can support life, and that includes us.  Allowing millions of tonnes of toxic plastic waste to enter the ocean environment threatens the ecosystems that provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe and the primary source of food for 3.5 billion people.  Parts of North Devon are surrounded by the ocean and many of us rely directly on it for pleasure, sport and our livelihoods. Being in, near or on the sea brings a very simple happiness which is hard to describe but we feel it, its spirit flows within us and we want to protect it. Why else would we receive over 6 million visitors a year? Being part of UNESCO Biosphere and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty means we have beautiful and wild landscapes that inspire people and that’s exactly what we need it to do. When you truly love something you want to protect it. This puts us in a very unique position in terms of driving change, we not only have our own local captive audience but we have hordes of visitors that will hopefully see what we are doing and take it home with them, all 6 million of them!

So let’s use our power, position, community and beauty to inspire change to everyone that enters our corner of the world. 


Anne-Marie Eveleigh