Litter on our beaches can wash out into our oceans, impacting the environment for all that live in the sea.
This trash gets consumed by the fish that are caught as our food and can limit the sustainability of these populations. Unfortunately, plastic waste has an amazing ability to travel the oceans currents. It can have a detrimental impact on marine life many thousands of miles from the place where it first entered the sea.
The real problem occurs when these tiny plastic fragments are eaten by plankton, shellfish and fish. This can block their digestive tracts leading to their starvation. Research has shown that a large proportion of commercially caught fish and shellfish contain these minute plastic pieces in their guts and edible tissues. This ultimately means that these plastics are destined for your dinner plate.
Waltham associates are fortunate to be able to volunteer in community causes each year as part of the Mars Volunteer Program (MVP)
. This scheme gives all associates the opportunity to partake in 16 hours per year of voluntary work as paid leave annually.
Recently over 20 volunteers joined a beach clean at Old Hunstanton in Norfolk, in partnership with the Marine Conversation Society.
Between them, they collected over 35kg of rubbish that was strewn on the beach and in the sand dunes. Most were plastics in various forms, including those contained in the numerous wet wipes gathered.
Martin Longhurst, Unit Specialist at the pet centre, explained “It's great to be able to have a positive impact on a very modern environmental problem and be part of a team with one common goal.”