#SustyTalk: City to Sea’s Rebecca Burgess on combatting single-use plastics during lockdown

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with not-for-profit campaigning organisation City to Sea's chief executive Rebecca Burgess discussing how the organisation is communicating with the public on the issue of single-use plastics during the coronavirus lockdown.

With the UK on lockdown and edie readers working remotely or on furlough, this brand new series of video interviews keeps you connected to the inspirational business leaders who are continuing to drive sustainability and champion climate action from their own homes.

#SustyTalk is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainable business leaders across the world, whilst reminding us all that sustainability and climate action must go on, through the current Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

edie’s content editor Matt Mace discusses the lockdown with City to Sea’s chief executive Rebecca Burgess as part of edie’s ENGAGE week. Since its launch in 2017, City to Sea’s Refill campaign has spurred dozens of big and small businesses to offer free water bottle refills but with the high-streets empty, Burgess outlines how the organisation has taken its engagement and awareness campaigns virtual.

City to Sea’s own research found that the average British adult uses 150 single-use plastic water bottles annually, Refill encourages a switch to reusable bottles by making free tap water refill facilities available in “on-the-go” scenarios, Burgess outlines whether efforts to date to combat single-use plastics could subside as a result of the pandemic.

“We set up Refill to be an on-the-go campaign and we’ve stopped over 100 million plastic bottles from entering our waste stream last year alone. But we’re not going anywhere,” Burgess said. “We’re still engaging our Refill team and give them the support that their local communities need.

“We’re really aware that this is going to be a challenging environment to operate in and that the plastics industry is doing everything it can to keep pushing the single-use plastics agenda…We need to base decisions on facts and not fear-mongering and we pride ourselves on taking complicated issues and providing simple solutions.”

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edie staff

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