New project will empower community-led plastic resistance and bring Parley AIR strategy to ten islands across the UK


“Our island communities are on the front line battling the scourge of plastic pollution and we want to support the groups and individuals working tirelessly to tackle avoidable single-use plastic. This project provides the tools, guidance and strategy to support community-led action to free where we live from avoidable single-use plastic.”

– Ben Hewitt, Director of Campaigns and Projects, Surfers Against Sewage


We’re excited to continue our partnership with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) as we join forces in the Cold Water Islands Project. Together we will identify and support ten island communities around the UK in the fight against plastic pollution, empowering local leaders and change-makers with the Parley AIR Strategy: Avoid, Intercept, Redesign.

The plastic pollution crisis can have a disproportionate negative impact on island ecosystems, wildlife and communities from the tropics to the tundra. This new project, targeting small cold water islands around the UK, will explore plastic pollution pathways and promote community-based solutions to demonstrate how these microcosms can implement Parley AIR and provide a template for global action towards a plastic-free future. We’re now calling for island communities to submit applications to participate in the pilot project, which will be conducted in 2019.

Each island will need a committed lead community volunteer. A community leader is an instigator, a motivator and an ocean activist; a passionate individual who can stimulate positive change and grow a movement within their community. The community leaders will then be equipped with the tools and guidance to support activity within their island community.

The project is seeking ten geographically diverse island communities of varying sizes across the UK, with populations up to 25,000 permanent residents. The program incorporates the learnings of both SAS’s community initiatives and our Parley AIR strategy to empower and mobilize community action against plastic. Each community leader will be supported with a toolkit resource, that will be crafted to guide the island’s strategy and detail the tactics for achieving the following three objective points:




The Island achieves Plastic Free Community Status, including the formation of a community steering group and engaged grassroots network for change to manage actions against plastic, engaging the local authority/council, and schools.


Coordination of regular beach clean community events and collection of data regarding the type and source of the plastic pollution on their island.


Reduce the island’s single-use plastic footprint by engaging and collaborating with local business and inspiring and educating individual actions and promoting Parley’s AIR strategy.