Campaigners in Bristol warn of environmental crisis as lockdown eases

Credit: ITV West Country

As lockdown restrictions are eased, campaigners are warning we are facing an environmental crisis.

City to Sea says demand for single use plastics has increased dramatically since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

Green spaces have been littered with single use plastics in recent weeks as lockdown begins to ease. Credit: ITV West Country

Some use of single use plastic has been driven by necessity.

PPE has played a crucial role in protecting people against Covid-19.

But while it is disposed of carefully in hospitals and care homes, this is not always the case elsewhere.

Scientists claim 66,000 tonnes of extra plastic waste would be created if everyone used one single-use mask a day for a year.

While PPE is disposed of carefully in hospitals and care homes, this is not always the case elsewhere. Credit: ITV West Country

Environmental campaigners are warning our "new normal" could come at a cost.

Jo Morley from City To Sea says, "Whilst it's brilliant that we are starting to come out of lockdown and that businesses are returning to some form of normal, what it does mean is that we're seeing a massive increase in the amount of takeaway packaging."

This means a huge increase in the amount of single use plastic packaging and globally we're already using 300 million tonnes a year.

Jo Morley, City To Sea

"Half the litter that we find on beaches is single use plastic so any increase in this is obviously a big concern for us."

Jo says health "is our number one priority but staying safe doesn't have to cost the Earth".

"The Government and the WHO have advised that if you're not in a high risk category, it is perfectly safe to wear a reusable, washable mask.

The momentum was there. People really really genuinely care about the issue.

Jo Morley, City To Sea

Jo adds people "don't want to see our beaches and our oceans filled with plastic" and that "the focus now should be on working with businesses."

City To Sea is calling for "action on single use plastics and letting the Government know we don't want to see this drop off the agenda".