By Charlotte Brill

It has been around three months since the COVID-19 lockdown begun in March and as restrictions gradually ease, pubs across the UK have begun selling takeaway pints – satisfying many people’s thirst for a cold, crisp draught beer.

However, to maintain strict hygiene measures this has meant single-use plastic has come back with a vengeance, littering our streets, parks and beaches. 

According to a report from Keep Britain Tidy, commissioned by Defra in 2019, a staggering 75% of litter was a result of drinks consumption. And, with so many drinking establishments situated near and on the Brighton and Hove seafront, combined with the ability to meet up to six people for socially distanced gathering, an intensified build-up of plastic pollution on the beaches seems inevitable.

Brighton and Hove beaches, highly popular spots for both locals and tourists, are consistently scattered with waste, 80% of which is left by people visiting the beach and leaving it there, as found by Surfers Against Sewage in a recent study. This a great concern that must be addressed, especially since there have been several reports of dolphin pod sightings off the Sussex coast. 

It does not have to be this way and together we can inspire people, and establishments, to encourage a more sustainable eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic pint cups. 

#PlasticFreePints is an innovative social media campaign produced by ECODISCO, a sustainable nightlife company supporting vendors to provide reusable options, and Ours To Save, a journalistic initiative focused exclusively on the Climate Crisis.  Its mission is to encourage people to take their own containers, whether this is a ‘pint glass, milk bottle, vase, pickle jar’ or something similar, when collecting take-away beverages. 

Vendors can also purchase ECODISCO’s snazzy reusable pint cups, made from recycled British steel, to sell for profit and to encourage customers to return with these cups for a discount on every refill. 

‘’By selling our steel cups, pubs are not only removing single-used plastic but generating some much-needed income. The #PlasticFreePints campaign supports our pubs and protects the planet!’’, said Hadi Ahmadzadeh from ECODISCO. 

For Florence Wildwood, co-founder of Ours to Save, “given the success of coffee keep cups, the solution to the increase in litter we’re seeing at the moment is glaringly obvious.’’

We cannot continue ignoring the troubling yet preventable plastic pollution crisis! 

You can help spread the word to insight the necessary move into a more eco-normalcy post-lockdown with a few simple steps:

  1. Bring your reusable vessel to your pub of choice and collect your pint. 
  2. Put a photo of your #PlasticFreePints on Instagram (using the hashtag) and tag @ecodisco_ and @ourstosave
  3. Tag 5 of your friends and get them to do the same. 

Once you have done this you may even be lucky enough to win some plastic-free pints. It’s a no-brainer! 

Even if you don’t win you will be part of an important movement which has the potential to change the future of the takeaway drink service and protect our Mother Earth.  So, I urge you be more conscious of single-use plastic and get involved with the #PlasticFreePints campaign. 

We have a moral duty and together we can pave the way for a greener future.

Picture Credit: Simon Lee

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