Since 2014, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised over £4 Million for Friends of the Earth. This incredible support has helped the charity campaign on major environmental issues, and most recently enabled Friends of the Earth to launch a new campaign focused on the plastics problem. The campaign started by encouraging people to ditch single-use plastic for #PlasticFreeFriday.
Friends of the Earth is the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters and 5,000 local groups in more than 75 countries. It campaigns to ensure that the next generation will enjoy a better environment than the last: a safe climate, flourishing nature, clean air, water, and food.
Since February, Friends of the Earth has been encouraging everyone across Britain to go plastic-free each Friday and to share their #PlasticFreeFriday experiences on social media. The charity has been sharing simple hints and tips to help everyone move towards a plastic-free lifestyle. With up to 12 million tonnes of plastic waste ending up in the sea each year, reducing the amount of throw-away plastic we use is critical.
Thanks to funding from players, over 7,500 people have taken the #PlasticFreeFriday pledge and over 58,000 people have demanded that the volume of plastic pouring into our oceans be dramatically reduced.
Friends of the Earth has attracted the support from several plastic-free influencers such as Grace Brown who owns Zero Habits, a zero-waste lifestyle store in Leeds.
Grace said, "I am supporting Friends of the Earth's #PlasticFreeFriday initiative as a platform to draw ever-needed attention to the wasteful actions of retailers and manufacturers, to raise awareness, inspire open discussions and to encourage others to ditch plastic."
Within its first 40 days, the campaign received over 35 million impressions and reached an audience of 13 million on Twitter. The spread of the engagement was truly international, reflecting the global nature of the problem. Friends of the Earth also hosted a Facebook Live event facilitated by Guardian journalist, and The One Show's plastic champion, Lucy Siegel. This was watched by over 2,700 people and generated valuable conversation on the plastic problem.
Julian Kirby, waste campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said, "There are a number of simple changes people can make to their daily lives to help reduce the plastic choking our oceans, and in doing so they'll put further pressure on governments and companies to act too."
"From taking a moment to sit in a café and enjoy your coffee from a proper cup, to saying no to plastic straws, taking part in #PlasticFreeFriday is a great way for everyone to take their first step on the journey towards a plastic-free life."
To take part in #PlasticFreeFriday, visit Friends of the Earth's website.