Should we be banning new plastics from being manufactured?
Yes! We should be banning virgin plastics, fossil-fuel burning and commercial fishing, and if we did, industries would adjust overnight. We saw that with COVID-19 – within a year, companies found new ways to make money. We need to apply the same mindset.
Is there a memory or a place where the plastic pollution problem really struck home for you?
The first time I arrived in the Indian Ocean, after starting Parley, I visited these totally remote, uninhabited islands in the south of the Maldives. From a distance on the boat, the islands looked perfect, like a postcard. When I got a little closer, I suddenly realised there was a belt of plastic around these places and deep in the sand. There was everything from shoes to refrigerators!
What advice would you give to readers keen to reduce their plastic consumption?
Avoid plastic where possible – cut it down and opt for alternatives and recycled materials. You don’t have to be 100% pure or perfect… just try your best, as everybody has a role to play. It’s about respecting resources, and that can be applied to any material. Say I bought a jacket: yes, there’s a hole in it, but I’m going to cover it in a cool patch or repair it.