Top band backs fight against plastic pollution
Depeche Mode is providing a boost for the west country environment as part of the band’s ‘Memento Mori’ world tour.
Devon Environment Foundation (DEF) is one of seven projects benefitting from a charity partnership with Depeche Mode.
As part of the Conservation Collective, a global network of foundations promoting grassroots environmental initiatives, the Foundation’s mission is to protect and restore the county’s natural beauty with funding for local nature regeneration projects.
The projects, which all aim to tackle plastic pollution, are being funded via a collaboration between the British band and luxury watchmaker Hublot.
The Devon charity is the only UK-based recipient of funding, which it will use to support flagship grantee ‘Till the Coast is Clear.’
This inspirational CIC is striving to make the world a better place by recovering plastic pollution from hard-to-reach locations on the South Devon coast.
Volunteers use recyclable motor vessels and a fleet of kayaks made from recycled fishing nets in their work.
The funds will enable the CIC to scale up its activities. Plans include developing the ability to recover more plastic pollution by increasing the number of kayaks and add more collection points at remote coastal locations.
Till the Coast is Clear
‘This is going to make a huge difference to the next stage of our work and will ensure long-term positive impact on nature and the community,’ says Gary Joliffe, Director of Till the Coast is Clear.
‘We’ll be using some of the funding to trailer-mount our custom made whale sculpture – Whaley McWhale Face – which is dressed in plastic pollution recovered from the South Devon Coast including fishing nets, tyres, buoys, and single use plastic all washed up on our beautiful shores.’
‘Whaley will be available to be taken to events and locations to help raise awareness of the challenges plastics in the environment present and to help educate and inspire us all to adopt more nature conscious lifestyles.’
Plans also include a new initiative to introduce nature immersion experiences in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary.
It’s hoped the project will help more people from different walks of life to take part in outdoor adventures.
As well as utilizing the recycled kayaks, a 26 foot 1962 wooden motor cruiser is being converted into an electric vessel for use on the estuary.
‘We’re very excited to have been included in the funding from Depeche Mode and Hublot,’ says Amanda Keetley, Executive Director of Devon Environment Foundation (DEF).
‘We are huge supporters of the brilliant and hugely impactful work of Till the Coast is Clear who are working so hard to ensure that our beautiful coastline and estuaries are protected for future generations.’
Grassroot projects addressing the climate emergency
DEF specialises in identifying the most innovative or impactful nature-based solutions in Devon, providing them with vital kick-start or scale-up support.
Since launching in 2020, DEF has awarded more than £630,000 of grants, enabling 48 grassroot projects to address the climate and nature emergencies.
According to the UN Environment Programme, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our ocean during the course of a single minute.
Approximately seven billion of the nearly 10 billion tonnes of plastic produced from 1950-2017 became plastic waste.
Experts say plastic pollution can alter habitats and natural processes. It goes onto reduce an ecosystem’s ability to adapt to climate change which directly affects millions of people’s livelihoods, their food production capabilities and their social well-being.
‘We are overjoyed about our new partnership with Depeche Mode,’ says Ben Goldsmith, Founder and Chair of Conservation Collective.
‘Together we’re going to be funding and illuminating a series of extraordinary, scalable grassroots solutions to the curse of single use plastics across the regions in which we have established local Conservation Collective foundations.’
‘Whilst we can’t ultimately recycle our way out of the horror-show of single use plastics, we can change systems to reduce and eventually eliminate the flow of plastics that are choking nature everywhere. A plastic waste-free world is possible!’
Image of Depeche Mode. Photography credit: Anton Corbijn
Image of collecting plastics: photograph provided courtesy of Till the Coast is Clear
For more information, visit: devonenvironment.org and tillthecoastisclear.co.uk