Imran today joined pupils from Newby Primary School as part of their campaign against plastic pollution in Bradford, praising their efforts to address the issue.

The children’s campaign, inspired by learning about plastic waste and pollution and the recent Blue Planet 2 BBC series which covered the huge amount plastic in the oceans, sets out to reduce the amount of thrown away plastic in their local communities and across the Bradford District. They were today joined by Imran , who took part in a question and answer session with the children on what steps they and their families can take to tackle it.

In the UK, up to 35 million plastic bottles are used per day, of which 16 million end up being dumped on streets, in rivers, in the sea and in landfill. Furthermore, there are around eight million tonnes of plastic that is released into the ocean each year, although some estimates believe that it can be as high as 12 million. As a result, the UN Environment Programme believes that around 95% of marine litter found on coastlines, the sea surface and on the ocean floor is made up of plastics.

Due to the scale of plastic pollution in the oceans, it accounts for 9 in 10 encounters between litter and marine life, and almost 1 in 5 species threatened by entanglement or ingestion of marine litter are listed as threatened or near-threatened species. According to the Government, over one million birds and 100,000 sea mammals die each year from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.

Speaking on the pupils’ campaign to reduce plastic pollution, Imran said:

“It’s great to see young people taking such an active interest in our environment. With eight million tonnes of plastic making its way into the oceans each year and with plastic discovered in creatures living seven miles beneath the surface of the sea, it is crucial that action is taken.

“Whilst there are plans to ban certain plastic products that are harmful to the environment, I think that we all have a duty to take whatever steps we can to protect our environment and hand it on to the next generation in the best state possible, which is why it is just so inspiring to see the Newby Primary are taking action from a young age to protect the planet.

“The staff at Newby Primary have been absolutely fantastic in their teaching of the scale and impact of plastic waste and pollution on the environment, and I want to thank Dan Bolland and the other Year 5 teachers for the support they have given to the children in taking forward their campaign, showing just how innovative our schools can be and how positive they are for the community.”

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