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First recipients of Single-Use Plastic Free Bronze certification announced

by Emma Cotton, RYA 11 Feb 02:00 PST
Val Wyatt Marine Litter Pick © RYA

The Green Blue and Final Straw Foundation have announced the first business, sailing club, and marina, to receive the Bronze Certification Award as part of the collaborative standard: Single-Use Plastic Free Accreditation.

The new standard highlights the responsible and innovative practices and products used by organisations in the recreational boating industry.

Since the Accreditation was launched at the Southampton International Boat Show last year, over forty organisations from across the UK have signed-up to show their dedication to removing single-use plastic items from their day-to-day business activities. Many of the organisations that have completed the Bronze level of Accreditation have also gone one step further by holding their own litter picks near their local water and sharing their single-use plastic advice with customers and members.

Business

The first business to achieve the Bronze Certification Award are shore-based marine recruitment specialists, Marine Resources. As part of their ongoing commitment to keeping the oceans and waterways pollution-free, Marine Resources has been actively minimising their impact on the planet and reducing their use of single-use plastics.

Working towards the Accreditation has been a great team building opportunity too, as James Ward, Managing Director at Marine Resources explains: "It's been so great for the team here at Marine Resources to focus on what we could do as a business to reduce our plastic use. Everyone here cares a lot about the issue and most in the business enjoy getting out on the water when they can.

"To be able to do our bit to help clean up our playground was an important thing for us. It's been not just educational but also a great project for all the team to get involved with together. We look forward to working towards our Silver accreditation in 2022 and seeing other marine businesses getting involved."

Sailing Club

Emsworth Sailing Club, Hampshire, has become the first club to be awarded the Bronze Certification. The Club are committed to having a positive impact on the health of oceans and are already keen to reach the coveted Silver Certification.

"We are extremely proud to be the first club to be awarded the Bronze Certificate following on from some of the early work we have done guided by the teams at The Green Blue and The Final Straw Foundation," commented Jane Mellor, Commodore at Emsworth Sailing Club.

"As the sea is our playground, we have embedded the control of our environmental impacts into the work of all our committees, but there is always more to do so continuous improvement is constantly on our minds. We are now working hard towards gaining Silver and hope to be the first club to get there too!"

Marina

Having made significant changes to ensure that the environment is now at the forefront of their operations, Val Wyatt Marine, Berkshire has become the first marina to receive the Bronze Accreditation. The extensive knowledge the marina has of customer care and service when buying, selling, or mooring boats is now extended to environmental issues affecting boaters.

Lisa Anacora, Managing Director, Val Wyatt Marine, said: "We are proud to be awarded with the Bronze Single-Use Plastic Free Certification. Protecting, cleaning, and caring for our environment both locally and more broadly is at the heart of our operations. We recognise that there is still more that we can do, and we're actively working on identifying areas for improvement and implementing solutions for short to long team goals to not only eliminate single-use plastic entirely, but also to meet our net zero commitments.

"We're delighted that initiatives like The Green Blue and Final Straw Foundation exist to help support businesses and communities to look after our rivers, seas, and global ecosystems, as we know that it's only through working together and at scale that real change will be made."

Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue Campaign Manager, commented: "We would like to share a very warm congratulations again to all of these organisations that have attained the Bronze Certification so far and we look forward to celebrating more awards over the coming months. We have also received several requests to expand the Accreditation to encompass a wider range of organisations and businesses, so watch this space!"

Bianca Carr, Final Straw Foundation, said: "We are so proud to be working with such forward-thinking organisations that put the planet before profit. They're leading the way in promoting the sustainability message throughout the recreational boating industry and we're really looking forward to helping more organisations reduce their reliance on single-use plastic in 2022."

Clubs, centres and boating businesses that are keen to reduce their single-use plastic footprint can find the full Single-Use Plastic Free Accreditation criteria and guidance by visiting: finalstrawcertified.org.

The Green Blue is a joint environment programme between the RYA and British Marine to encourage a more sustainable recreational boating sector. To find out more visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk

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