Banham Zoo has plans to cut single-use plastics – and has garnered the support of an MP for a large wildlife sanctuary in Antarctica.
The zoo plans to remove all single-use plastic drink bottles from its shelves as part of a campaign to help protect the world’s oceans from the impact of plastic pollution.
We urgently need sanctuaries across the world to restore our oceans’ healthAlex Mayer
All plastic straws, drinking cups and other single-use plastic items will be removed from its food outlets.
The plastic reduction comes as Norfolk Euro MP Alex Mayer pledged her support to a new wildlife reserve in Antarctica.
Martin Dupée, director of operations, said: “By removing single-use plastic bottles from our shelves, we’re not only reducing our own impact on the oceans, but opening the eyes of manufacturers to the problem and showing them how easy it can be to adopt more sustainable alternatives.
“It’s in our hands to force the change, and we can all do the same in our homes, as well.”
The zoo is encouraging support by asking guests to start shopping consciously and dispose of waste correctly.
Over the last four years, the zoo has been making strides to remove carrier bags from its gift shops, moving instead towards a paper alternative. This has taken much longer than anticipated as a result of the downturn in appetite for carrier bags.
On Friday, Ms Mayer urged zoo goers and Norfolk residents to make a difference and get behind a campaign to create the world’s biggest wildlife sanctuary in Antarctica.
The 1.8 million square kilometre fishing-free zone would protect penguins, killer whales, leopard seals and blue whales and help to reduce the damaging effects of climate change.
The idea was put forward by the European Union and is backed by a Greenpeace campaign ahead of a conference of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resource in October, which will decide if the plan gets the go ahead.
Ms Mayer said: “The threats from overfishing, plastic pollution and climate change mean we urgently need sanctuaries across the world to restore our oceans’ health.
“We’ve all seen the heart-breaking film footage of penguins starving to death, showing something is very wrong in the Antarctic. We can change that.
“So let’s come together to protect the waters that penguins call home and heal the health of our oceans.”
To back the campaign, sign up at secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/antarctica.