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New avoidable plastics project celebrates diversity

The Islamic Festival Eid al-Fitr is at the heart of a new diversity project encouraging sustainable behaviour changes during faith-based celebrations.

The celebration is the first of a series of events from multiple faiths being highlighted by the Environment Agency as part of the Interreg Preventing Plastic Pollution (PPP) programme, which aims to reach a wider audience with its avoidable plastics message.

Eid al-Fitr (12 and 13 May), also called the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims to mark the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.

Three themed posters providing hints and tips on ways to reduce avoidable plastic waste have been jointly created by the Environment Agency’s plastics and sustainability team, supported by colleagues from the Islamic faith, BAME and Plastic Champions employee networks.

The first poster focuses on waste associated with food and launches today (12 April 2021) on the PPP website and Twitter feed in the run up to Ramadan, with the remaining posters going live on 22 April (decorations) and 2 May (gifts).

Environment Agency project lead Claire Horrocks said:

In the past we’ve focused on sustainable behaviour changes during Christian-based festivals, such as Christmas and Easter. As an organisation, we strive to be inclusive and want to also reflect the diverse communities we serve in our public engagement work.

Sharing ideas for sustainable celebrations is a positive way to reach a cross-section of people, to inspire changes that will benefit the environment, our well-being and future generations. Regardless of faith, everyone will be able to learn from the messages in these posters and use the handy hints and tips in their day to day lives.

Rayhela Ahmed-Monju, from the Environment Agency’s Islamic Fellowship lead, said:

Celebrating Eid is always one of the highlights of my year. These Eid resources and ideas show that having fun and celebrating special times can be done in ways that promote sustainability and reduce waste.  These are just some of the ways we can help make positive changes which go beyond Eid and can be implemented every day so we are kinder to our planet.

In future, the Environment Agency’s plastics and sustainability team also hopes to highlight festivals from other faiths, including Hindu and Jewish celebrations.

Notes for editors

Interreg Preventing Plastic Pollution

Working in partnership with 18 organisations from across France and England, Preventing Plastic Pollution (PPP) seeks to understand and reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the river and marine environments. By looking at the catchment from source to sea, the project will identify and target hotspots for plastic, embed behaviour change in local communities and businesses, and implement effective solutions and alternatives.

PPP is a €14million funded EU INTERREG VA France (Channel) England Programme project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund which works mainly across seven pilot sites: Brest Harbour, Bay of Douarnenez, Bay of Veys, Poole Harbour, and the Medway, Tamar, and Great Ouse estuaries.

Partners are the Environment Agency, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Queen Mary University of London, LABOCEA Conseil, Expertise et Analyses, Syndicat mixte établissement public de gestion et d’aménagement de la baie de Douarnenez, Office Français De La Biodiversité, Parc naturel marin d’Iroise, Brest Métropole, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Counseil départemental de la Manche, Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer, The Rivers Trust, Syndicat de bassin de l’Elorn, ACTIMAR, Brest’aim, Westcountry Rivers Trust, South East Rivers Trust, Plymouth City Council

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Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-avoidable-plastics-project-celebrates-diversity

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