Lived Experience Crew youngsters travel to Parliament to highlight issue of plastic pollution

Tallulah with MP Theresa May

Young members of Margate-based People Dem Collective’s ‘Lived Experience Crew’ Tallulah and Knight, brought the fight against plastic waste to the heart of power last month as they lobbied MP Theresa May to take action against plastic pollution on The Big Plastic Count’s Youth Empowerment Day.

After learning about the role of MPs and why talking to your MP is important, the youngsters created a plastic themed collage to give to their representatives, then set to work lobbying their MP for more action on plastic waste in a face to face meeting in Parliament. They joined students from nine schools from across the country who travelled to London to raise the alarm over the UK’s plastic waste problem.

The trip to Parliament came after pupils took part in The Big Plastic Count, a citizen science project launched by Greenpeace UK and non-profit organisation Everyday Plastic. The count involved some 100,000 households, schools, community groups and businesses across the UK count their plastic packaging waste, record the different types they throw away and enter their results into the campaign website.

The campaign aims to convince the government to take more action to cut plastic production, ban plastic waste exports and transition to refill and reuse alternatives which are affordable, accessible and appropriate for all.

Victoria Barrow Williams from People Dem Collective, said: ‘We’re so excited that youth from our Lived Experience Crew got to learn about the processes of government and see how it works to lobby your MP.

“Engaging them in climate activism and igniting their interest in issues that have a very real impact on their futures was a truly inspiring experience for everyone involved. They’re local MP was unable to attend but that didn’t phase them, instead they asked insightful, impactful questions of Theresa May MP; really holding her to account and ended the day with her signing a commitment to reduce single use plastic by 50% by 2025.”

Knight, eight, said: “It’s unfair that we dump our plastic in other poor countries because they can’t defend themselves.”

Tallulah, 11, added: “ I wish MPs would have more empathy for the animals harmed by the plastic” and then asked Therea May to sign the commitment to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025.

Maja Darlington, plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “It’s hugely inspiring seeing these young people get involved and push their MPs for change. Their hard work and enthusiasm has really brought home the problems around the plastic crisis to some of the most powerful people in the country.”

Plastic waste is everywhere but the students told their MPs there are solutions out there – politicians and big businesses just need  to grasp them. Whether that’s moving to refill and reuse products that are accessible to all or introducing targets to cut plastic production, by taking the right actions we can get a grip on plastic waste.


  1. My late father and, his late father before him were globetrotting ships masters.
    Back in the 1960’s, when he had retired from the sea and was working to combat marine pollution, he gave me an insight into the problem of waste in the sea.
    The garbage in the Ocean does not come from the land. It is the detritus of the global marine industry. Whether, plastic, detergent or other waste, it is not something any government can do anything about.
    The only United Nations office in Britain is that of the International Maritime Organisation. Never heard of it? You’re not alone! It likes anonymity.
    Time I.M.O. offices in London is where protests should be directed. Not the U.K. Parliament.

    • ‘Most of the plastic in our oceans comes from land-based sources: by weight, 70% to 80% is plastic that is transported from land to the sea via rivers or coastlines.1 The other 20% to 30% comes from marine sources such as fishing nets, lines, ropes, and abandoned vessels.2

      If we want to tackle plastic pollution we need to stop it from entering the ocean from our rivers. The problem is that we have hundreds of thousands of river outlets through which plastics reach the oceans. To prioritize mitigation efforts we need to understand which of these rivers transport plastic to the sea, and which ones contribute the most.’

      • Simply not true Samantha.
        Mariners simply throw stuff overboard. I’m not saying Cunard does it, but most lines do. Most of what comes “from land” does so not via rivers, but via ships.

          • If you read my original post, you’d realise “a link” is irrelevant. My source of information are the two globetrotting ship’s masters in my own family. One of whom bore the epithet, “O.B.E.” for his troubles.

  2. The address of the I.M.O. is:
    202 Lambeth Road, London, SE1 7JW.
    It’s website is at:
    If you are concerned about marine pollution, this is the body to which your bile should be directed.

  3. Do you often insult other posters parents and grandparents?
    Have you verified your source or, how and from where their data has been obtained?
    My late father was prosecuting water polluters half a century ago. His evidence was accepted in courts of Law in this country at the time of the Torry Canyon disaster, that he personally attended as part of his job role.
    If one were to do a vox pop of all the planet’s ships masters, not one would admit dumping or flushing their tanks. Why? It’s illegal! It contravenes international treaties. Next time you’re on a beach and see foam on the shore. Remember that it is the result of a ship’s master ordering the flushing of his vessel’s tanks. It is a crime.
    Think about all the fly tipping that occurs on land. It occurs because it is cheaper than “proper disposal”. All shipping companies exist to make a profit. Don’t they? Do you not think, away from prying eyes, that their employees don’t do the same, in order to maximise profit? Think about all those vessels globally registered under, “Flags of Convenience”. Why?
    Follow the money.
    There is a litigious phrase: “Inherently improbable”!

  4. I did nt insult anyone!!

    This is very tiresome as I am aware of this major problem!

    Source Greenpeace
    ‘Most of the plastic pollution in the ocean starts out on land. It mainly comes from household and commercial waste, which blows from waste bins and landfill sites into rivers or sewers, then flows out into the sea.

    Plastic pollution in the ocean also comes from our clothes. Tiny “microplastics” escape down the drain when we run synthetic clothing through the washing machine. An average load of laundry might release around 700,000 microplastic fibres, less then a millimetre in length, into the water. These are too small to be filtered and so they end up collecting on riverbeds or washing out to sea.’

    Source WWF
    ‘80% of plastic in the ocean originates on land’!

    • Now look at your local rivers and local skies and tell me, “That’s a credible hypothesis to account for 80% of Ocean pollution.”
      It’s not a matter of who posted what on the internet or wrote what in a report. It’s a matter of credulity.

Comments are closed.