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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Harry & Meghan’s Commitment (To a Plastic Free Future)

by Anna Wagner

May 23, 2018

Maybe you loved watching the royal wedding last weekend or hey, maybe you avoided it like the plague. The point is, Harry and Meghan helped to use their wedding day as an action against ocean pollution, and we’ve got plenty of ways you can celebrate this summer like it’s a plastic-free world.

Last Saturday, as millions of people around the world watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make that lifelong commitment to each other, they also committed to using their considerable public sway to protect our oceans.

Among the 7 charities that the couple asked well-wishers to support in lieu of wedding gifts, Both chose Surfers Against Sewage — an organization working to end ocean plastic pollution —in an effort to address one of the biggest environmental crises we face today.

Perhaps a love of the environment and oceans runs in the Royal family — the Queen of England has her own crusade to tackle plastic pollution, while the Duke of Cambridge has supported numerous conservation efforts nationally and around the globe. Even the Prince of Wales has rallied for a plastic-free future, speaking out against the grave threat this pollution poses on birds and marine life:

“Today, almost half of all marine mammals now have plastic in their gut and I know I am not the only person haunted by the tragic images of seabirds, particularly albatrosses, that have been found dead, washed up on beaches after mistaking a piece of plastic for a meal. The fact that a recent study estimates that by 2025 there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the sea is not what I call encouraging.”

And as the royal family commits to a sustainable and plastic-free future, so too will the UK through its pledge end single-use plastic next year. Sounds like a bloody inspiring movement to us.

Pupils from Ulver Primary School, Isle Of Mull, join a clean-up of one of their beloved beaches.
Greenpeace brought its ship the Beluga II on an expedition of scientific research around Scotland, sampling seawater for microplastics and documenting the impact of ocean plastic on some of the UK’s most precious marine life.

So perhaps you’re planning your own nuptials this summer? A BBQ or picnic with friends? Want to know how can YOU take the plunge for an ocean-friendly future?? Here are 7 tips for a plastic-free party of any kind:

1. Paper straws — or skip straws altogether!
2. Use real plates! Dust off your grandmother’s silver
3. Butcher paper or cloth on the tables
4. Skip the cheap kitch — a meaningful ceremony is more memorable than party favors
5. Use a caterer that specializes in local, organic and plastic free tableware
6. Get flowers from the farmers market — they’re affordable, fresh, local, organic & not wrapped in plastics
7. If you’re getting married, consider putting a Greenpeace donation on your registry, to support systems change to end single-use plastic (hint! hint!)

Just like Harry committed to Meghan, the ocean is also ready for a commitment from all of us. Check out our Million Acts of Blue Toolkit to choose your own adventure in breaking free from plastic. Cheers!

By Anna Wagner

Anna Wagner is a senior national organizer with Greenpeace USA.

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