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Say no to plastic, Say yes to turtles

This time last week WVI was welcoming delegates from the London Vet Show on to our first ever stand. We were given the opportunity by the London Vet Show to encourage delegates to recycle their plastic waste responsibly.

We branded their recycling stand with turtles to highlight the dangers to turtles from marine plastics and how we are helping rehabilitation centres deal with the consequences for turtles. In the process of this journey we have learnt a huge amount about marine plastics, most of it terrified us. Therefore we had to think extremely carefully about what we made the stand out of and to give some hope so people didn't leave the stand feeling incredibly depressed.

Cardboard

So our environmentally-friendly stand was predominantly printed on to cardboard. It looked as good as the corporate stands around us (we think better!) and although we hope to use some of it again, if the corners survive the transport, it will all be recycled or composted.

We couldn't do it alone and were helped on the way by stand builders Extreme Displays and Aiver Contracts Ltd who got fully behind the concept and helped us reduce the environmental cost of the stand.

Partners

We have been talking to Kingspan who are committed to recycling 1,000,000,000 clear plastic bottles per year and marine plastics for use in insulation panels, and Rapscallion Soda, which has replaced the plastic rings used to hold together six-pack drink cans, with rings made from by-product waste and other compostable materials (made by E6PR).

Vet Jane Hopper and chief supporter Tabitha with Kingspan insulation containing recycled marine plastics (on top of the WVI cupboard)

Say no to plastic, yes to turtles.

Commenting, WVI Executive Director Olivia Walter said: “The devastating impact of ocean plastics on sea turtles is hard to understate so it is vital that we seek to understand and ameliorate the impact of ingested plastic and provide protocols, teaching aids and other resources for veterinarians, students and others working so hard at rescue centres to help affected animals.

"At WVI we work alongside local associations and rescue centres battling to save endangered species by offering them access to specialist wildlife veterinarians. The work being done at the two marine rescue centres we’re supporting is outstanding and we hope that our colleagues in the veterinary profession will show their support for our work and mobilise their friends and clients to do the same.”

She added: “We also thank London Vet Show for donating our stand space and for the work that they are doing to reduce waste and make the  event more sustainable.It’s time for us all to step up on this.”

How you can help

Next week we are looking to raise at least £7,500 in online donations, which will be matched by funds from private donors who want to do something about the state of the ocean and The Reed Foundation who shares our vision.

Please like and share all our social media posts and donate here.

Johnathon. Loggerhead turtle. Greece. credit Kosta Papafitsoros