A conference addressing plastic pollution is to be held in Sunderland as part of World Environment Day on June 5.

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats we face, and the event aims to provide the opportunity to share ideas and get advice on potential ways to reduce the use of plastic and, in particular, single use plastic.

The “Plastic pollution, what’s the solution” event, which is being held at the Marriot Hotel in Sunderland, has been organised by not-for-profit company Climate Action North East and is sponsored by Northumbrian Water and Resilient Business Systems.

Sharon Lashley, Managing Director at Climate Action North East, said: “Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats the planet is facing now.

“In the last decade, the world produced more plastic than in the whole of last century.

“Each year the world uses 500 billion plastic bags and at least eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute.

“Through this event, we want to take action and share practical ways we can all take to reduce our plastic use.”

The conference will take a focused and honest look at the escalating plastic pollution issue and will showcase practical solutions.

This includes the launch of Northumbrian Water’s Refill initiative, which is encouraging cafes, bars, restaurants and other businesses to open their doors and allow members of the public to top up their re-fillable water bottles.

Visitors attending the event will also have the opportunity to listen to a line-up of expert speakers from organisations including the Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and the University of Leeds.

Tom Parkin, owner of Sue’s Café in Sunderland will also tell his story on how they have implemented simple changes to eliminate single use plastics and Sharon Lashley of Climate Action North East will explain a new initiative called Green Heart that helps schools combat plastic pollution and raise awareness of litter and waste.

Attendees can also take part in a nurdle hunt on Seaburn beach opposite the Marriot Hotel.

Nurdles are small plastic pellets used to make nearly all plastic products and many end up washing up on our shores.

Sharon said: “The event marks World Environment Day, the United Nation’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

“Above all, it’s a day to do something to take care of the Earth and get us all motivated to take action.”

The conference takes place from 9am to 5pm on 5 June at the Marriot Hotel in Sunderland.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided, and all delegates will receive an eco-goody bag.

Tickets cost £35 and can be booked at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/plastic-pollution-whats-the-solution-tickets-44013821525

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