At BRITA UK, we believe that collaboration is key to us playing our part in tackling environmental problems and understanding the challenges faced by customers and consumers. We are really proud of our long-term partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) who we’ve been working with to help tackle single-use plastic pollution for more than five years – starting with our #NotWhaleFood campaign. We chose to partner with WDC because we believe in the importance of protecting the Ocean for the long-term sustainability of our planet – and a key part of that means addressing single-use plastic pollution. Our work with WDC allows us to share that message with employees, businesses, and consumers, so we can all work together to make small changes that make a big difference. Last year, in the latest chapter of our work together, we became a founding partner of the Climate Giant Project to help raise awareness of the vital role whales play as our ally in the fight against climate change.
The Whale Watchers
This year, to help tell this story and empower future generations, we have published a new children’s book and supportive educational resources. We’ve learnt a lot about the importance of educating young people over the years and know how vital it is to engage the next generation if we want to set the world up for a brighter future. And so, on Tuesday 28th June we launched The Whale Watchers, authored by McFly bassist and climate activist Dougie Poynter. The book, aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils, follows the story of Finn, who ends up on a rescue mission to save a whale that has become entangled in plastic. Readers join his journey of discovery, learning about the role whales play in combatting climate change and their startling carbon capture abilities.
The launch of the book coincided with BRITA’s new research into children’s attitudes towards the climate crisis. The research revealed that almost two thirds (70%) of children are worried about the future of the planet and three in five (60%) are concerned of the lasting damage single-use plastic pollution is having on sea animals, including the goliaths of the sea, whales (59%). The study also found that children’s climate anxiety is being triggered by the thought that it’s now too late to save it from permanent damage, with 63% of children thinking the damage will become irreparable between five and 20 years from now.
Keep Britain Tidy (KBT)
This isn’t the first time BRITA have explored young people’s attitudes toward the environment. Back in 2018, alongside environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy (KBT), we conducted the ‘Children and young people’s enquiry into single-use plastics'. We knew there was a problem with single-use plastic, and we thought it was vital the views of the next generation were considered. Our research engaged children and young people, giving them both vital resources and the skills to reflect on their current attitudes and behaviours to make a positive change. It was the first time such an exercise had been done to engage that age group. From this, we came up with six recommendations for decision makers to tackle single-use plastic including: encouraging decision makers to increase the provision of safe drinking water taps in public places; highlighting the need for decision makers to make plastic-free food options readily available on UK shelves; and increasing communications aimed at children, young people, and their families focusing on making them more aware of reusable alternatives to single-use plastics.
Make a difference
The world may have changed a lot since 2018, but the issue of single-use plastic remains. BRITA is on a constant journey. We want to find the best ways to educate young people and make a difference to future generations. We’re hoping the work we’re doing alongside Whale and Dolphin Conservation will help make a positive impact.
If we all play our part in both reducing our impact on the environment and raising awareness to our audiences and social spheres, we’ll be acting to create change and leave the planet in a better place for the generations that will come after us.
The Whale Watchers competition
BRITA is inviting schools and youth groups up-and-down the country to take part in an exciting competition to win £3,000 to spend on a sustainability initiative of their choice, based on an area they are focused on improving within their school or youth group. Each participating school child needs to create a unique and compelling design for the BRITA recycling bin that will inspire others to reduce, reuse and recycle to protect the environment. Schools and youth groups can find more information about the competition and how to enter here.
The Whale Watchers is available from all good book retailers for £6.99. Click here for more information.