This year's Plastic Ocean Festival had 10 events between April and September and each one had good engagement and attendance. The earlier events were on canals and were stand-alone events and the later ones were on the Thames and part of bigger events including Tidefest, the Foreshore Festival, Barnes Film Festival and the Totally Thames Festival. Venues ranged from outdoor cinema screens, bars, cafes, a community centre, a floating classroom and the London Aquarium. Around 400 people have participated and helped to remove over 5000 litter pieces from London's waterways. In 2018 Plastic Ocean Festival is set grow with more films, new venues and more events.
We are developing several projects to change behaviour and reduce plastic in London’s waterways. These are all projects with plenty of scope for people to get involved and bring their skills and ideas to help. We will also seek to engage companies based in London as part of their Corporate Responsibility work which could include staff getting involved and deploying their skills and experience and also helping with funding.
The first of these is a Responsible Pubs scheme to encourage pubs to behave more responsibly with single use plastic - particularly phasing out straws and single use plastic glasses. This project is targeted at riverside pub owners and also party boat owners initially (as our main driving force is our to greatly reduce the growing tide of plastic in the Thames). But of course any pub, bar and restaurant will be welcome to join if they can commit to making a significant reduction in their use of plastic. We will achieve this by providing help to make changes in the form of advice on costs and operational issues, training pub staff to understand why this is necessary and promotion of the best practice.
We thank all Plastic Ocean Festival participants for taking part in our events this year, and we hope to see both old and new faces on the water in 2018 as well.