As part of its Guardians of the Deep project, visitors to the Trust’s marine-themed stand in the Woodland Area will be encouraged to recycle their plastic bottles there.
Single-use plastics are among the greatest threats to our marine environment. Plastic enters the marine environment in a variety of ways - by being flushed down the toilet, blown out of bins, or carelessly discarded. Plastic never disappears; it simply breaks down into ever decreasing pieces. These pieces are then accidentally consumed by fish, shellfish and other animals and therefore enter the food chain. Larger plastic items pose a threat to wildlife through entanglement, and plastic bags look alarmingly similar to jellyfish - the preferred food of turtles - that often mistake these plastic bags for food.
Through its Heritage Lottery Funded Guardians of the Deep project, Kent Wildlife Trust, along with project partners Thanet District Council, Medway Swale Estuary Partnership, Kent County Council, and Natural England, has been giving people the opportunity to help make a difference to the marine environment.
From beach cleans to seashore wildlife surveys, the project offers something for everyone. There are even suggestions for things you can do from home that will make a difference to the marine environment; including pledging to never flush a cotton bud stick, or supporting your local Marine Conservation Zone.
At a recent beach clean along the Thames Estuary, Guardians of the Deep volunteers collected an astonishing 1.6 tonnes of rubbish and over 12,000 plastic bottles.
Marine Officer for Kent Wildlife Trust, Fiona White, said: “Our stand at the County Show will be turned into an underwater wonderland - a theme that won us the ‘Best Specialist Stand’ award last year. Why not come along and walk through shoals of silvery fish and colourful jellyfish and then make your own pledge to help protect the marine environment at our Wish Fish?”
You can find out more about the Guardians of the Deep project and how to get involved here.