The Virgin Group founder asked for “imaginative” ideas on alternative materials to replace sticky plastic wraps used to secure passenger bags at airline check-in desks as part of a drive to help safeguard ocean and marine life.

In his latest blog post, Branson wrote: “It is currently a necessity at some airports to use plastic to secure some passengers’ luggage, due to the high risk of theft. However, this is resulting in even more plastic in the world, and this is causing huge problems – especially for fish and seabirds.”

He pointed to a disturbing video documentary about a beach ‘clean up’ that illustrates the huge scale of the plastic pollution problem.

“Let’s hear your imaginative ideas for securing bags without plastic,” he urged. “It would only be a small step in helping solve the plastic problem, but it is worth doing everything we can to tackle this crucial issue.”

In recent years, awareness has heightened around the threat of plastics escaping into the world’s oceans. In February restaurants, bars and cafes across London joined forces to launch the UK’s first ‘Straw Wars’ campaign in a bid to cut down on the use of plastic drinking straws by customers.

And last year, television presenter Ben Fogle swum through a vast slick of plastic soup in the Indian Ocean to highlight the pollution crisis.

Maxine Perella

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