William Eichler 10 December 2019

Cycling key to stopping plastic polluting the ocean, charity says

A charity has called on the next Government to invest more into the promotion of cycling and walking as part of the effort to prevent plastic polluting the ocean.

The charity Cycling UK has found that 57% of car journeys in Great Britain are five miles or less despite the fact that car tyre dust is one of the greatest sources of micro plastic pollution in the oceans.

Cycling UK urged people to cycle or walk more, and called on the next Government to provide ‘better public transport options’.

‘Since the UK had it’s Blue Planet moment, we’ve all accepted the need to change our plastic habits which are visible whether that’s plastic bags or excess wrapping in supermarkets,’ said Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns.

‘However, the UK has failed to address or even acknowledge one other major source of plastic: our car dependence.

‘It’s shocking that car tyre dust is the largest source of microplastics in our oceans – more needs to be done to give people a safe and attractive alternative to driving.’

Cycling UK is calling on the next Government to invest at least 5% of the transport budget on cycling and walking in 2020, and increasing this to at least 10% by 2025.

Mr Dollimore stressed that using electric cars would not solve the pollution problem.

‘Unfortunately replacing fossil fuelled vehicles with electric cars is not going to stop the source of the microplastics in our oceans,’ he said.

‘We need better public transport options, and safer cycling and walking facilities. For cycling and walking that means rapidly increasing investment to at least 10% of the transport budget in the next five years.’

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