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Plastic giant whale stops at Felixstowe seafront to highlight problem of ocean trash

PUBLISHED: 13:11 28 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:43 28 August 2017

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey with Sky Ocean Rescue's 10 metre plastic whale. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey with Sky Ocean Rescue's 10 metre plastic whale. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Visitors to the Suffolk seaside were confronted by the striking spectacle of a plastic whale measuring the length of two double-decker buses – created to drive home an environmental call to arms.

The whale is made of plastics recovered from the sea. Picture: GREGG BROWN The whale is made of plastics recovered from the sea. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The 10-metre sculpture, made of plastic recovered from the ocean and beaches, arrived at Felixstowe beach for its final stop of a two-week coastal tour on Monday.

Sky Ocean Rescue took the whale around England, Wales and Scotland to inspire people to take action by making changes to their plastic consumption.

The whale, designed to contain the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean every second, was greeted by Suffolk Coastal MP and waste minister Therese Coffey.

Dr Coffey said: “Our oceans are critical to the future of our planet and we must act now to protect them for future generations.

The Ayriss family next to the large whale on Felixstowe beach. Picture: GREGG BROWN The Ayriss family next to the large whale on Felixstowe beach. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“The introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge was a great step forward and, alongside the launch of the Litter Innovation Fund, work to ban harmful microbeads and reduce plastic packaging, I am determined for us to remain a world leader in protecting our marine environment.

“We all have a role to play in stopping plastic being discarded into the ocean – that is why I support Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign and encourage others to get involved.”

Research commissioned by Sky Ocean Rescue found 87% of us concerned by plastic usage and 66% willing to see the 5p bag charge applied to single-use items like straws, bottles and cups.

The whale initiative has gained support from the likes of adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, model, racing driver and television presenter Jodie Kidd, and rower James Cracknell.

The whale represents the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean every second. Picture: GREGG BROWN The whale represents the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean every second. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sky chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, said: “Through the Plastic Whale Tour, we want to highlight how easy it is to make small changes that can have a real and measurable impact.”

Marine Conservation Society chief, Sandy Luk, said: “Our research repeatedly finds items such as plastic drinks bottles, wrappers and bags on UK beaches. So much of this has been used just once and thrown away.

“Small charges on packaging items, and deposit return systems can help bring the problem under control, and we are pleased to work in partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue to bring awareness to the issue and advise on how to make simple changes that can have a big impact.”

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