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Trying to be more sustainable?

Trying to be more sustainable?

Founder of Plastic Patrol, Lizzie Carr, gives us some quick tips and inspo from her journey to becoming more sustainable.

From conception in 2016, driven by seeing how plastic pollution has flooded our waterways, Plastic Patrol has become a global movement, engaging the public to take action in cleaning, collecting and recording waste, and inspiring behavioural change worldwide in relation to single-use plastic consumption. For Earth Day 2020, we caught up with Our Clean to Planet Partner and Plastic Patrol founder, Lizzie Carr, with some questions for the present and future of pioneering plastic reform.
Trying to be more sustainable?

Why is a zero-waste beauty routine important to you?

Until recently the beauty industry has pedaled excess packaging as a symbol of luxury and indulgence - and this just isn't accurate. There's been brands, like REN Clean Skincare, that have challenged the status quo and redefined what beauty means and it's important, as consumers, to support this step away from the norm. The sign of a good beauty product is not in its elaborate packaging but in the details like whether ingredients are ethically sourced, the supply chain transparent packaging is as waste free as possible.

Trying to be more sustainable?

Do you have easy tips to help reduce plastic consumption?

There's lots of small changes we can make to our beauty routines to reduce plastic. These include reusable cotton pads to remove make up, avoiding disposable facial wipes and replacing it with a flannel or muslin, looking for refillable or reusable options that are becoming more mainstream and making sure that finished products are effectively recycled (and that they are easy recyclable before even buying them). 

Trying to be more sustainable?

Tell us about your journey to sustainable living.

I'm still on the journey to being more sustainable and I'm always navigating new challenges. A few years ago, before I started paddle boarding and connected myself with the issue of plastic pollution, I was in an environmental sleepwalk. I'm by no means perfect now but I'm incredibly conscious of my consumption - not just plastic - and the refuse, reuse, recycle mantra is ingrained in all my decisions before I buy anything now. 

Trying to be more sustainable?

What led you to start Plastic Patrol?

I started Plastic Patrol in 2016 to draw attention through the environmental impact of plastic pollution through adventure and wellbeing. It's only when we connect with nature that we are able to both recognise and appreciate the detrimental impact of human activity and Plastic Patrol's ambition was - and still is - to sit at the intersection of these two areas to create lasting social change.

Over the last few years Plastic Patrol has grown globally and we run activity based clean ups across UK, Europe, USA and South America. More than 15,000 volunteers have supported our efforts in 82 countries around the world helping to gather more than 300,000 examples of litter logged in the app

Trying to be more sustainable?

Quickfire Round


How much plastic have you picked up from our waterways?

To date we've collected around 300 ton bags of litter - not just plastic - and logged around 300,000 pieces in the Plastic Patrol app.  

How many clean ups have you done since starting Plastic Patrol?

We've run around 1,500 clean ups since Plastic Patrol started, and that doesn't include all the people that go out litter picking in their own time or with friends and record all the litter they find in the Plastic Patrol app.  

How many people have been involved with the Plastic Patrol program?

We've had 15,000 + volunteers get involved in the last few years - it's a big, global family. 

How many countries has Plastic Patrol worked with?

We have reps operating in 15 countries but people have used the app in 82 countries worldwide, so the reach is significant and it means our scientists are able to compare data globally and identify and patterns and trends. This data allows us to work with industry and government to identify and implement solutions to tackle the detrimental impact of single use litter.

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