Former University of Plymouth student becomes charity ambassador

A former University of Plymouth marine biologist student has become an ambassador for a charity tackling plastic pollution.

Mae Dorricott, 24, is a member of Plastic Pollution Awareness and Actions Project (PPAAP), which aims to end single plastic use - starting in the takeaway and restaurant industry.

And she was among businesses, scientists, innovators and teachers from across the South West Bristol who have joined forces to reduce and recycle plastic.

Mae, who works as a researcher at award-winning Plimsoll Productions, which has worked on TV shows such as Hostile Planet, said: “TV programmes help to raise awareness but it does not impact on people’s behaviour perhaps as much as we would like to think it does.

“People are generally recycling and using reusable bags, which is trickling into reusable coffee cups, but there is still much more to be done.

“It helps to be prepared, such as taking your re-usable coffee cup or shopping bag with you.”

Mae Dorricott, who has seen the effect of plastic on sea life first-hand, has called for people to start with small changes to avoid using plastic in everyday life.

She said: “I think it’s more realistic if we start small and make lasting changes.  I personally still have areas to work on.”

The commercially qualified scuba diver, who has worked with sea life around the world, said it is a global issue. She added plastic affects us all – whether we eat sea food or not.

She said: “It’s in our beaches and in our seas. Plastic is made up of chemicals and it has an impact on us all. I think we all have our part to play in making this a better world to live in.”

PPAAP was set up by software engineer Naseem Talukdar, whose own parents ran an Indian restaurant before they retired.

And now over 40 restaurant owners and managers have signed up to a pilot scheme to learn how to adapt to a plastic-free business.

A dozen restaurant owners and various representatives from the business community got together for a meeting to highlight the issue – and find solutions.

The Curry and Conversation event looked at cost-effective and convenient alternatives to plastic.

Naseem, who also heads the charity Feed the Homeless, which provides home cooked meals, said: “My background in the restaurant industry and work with the homeless heightened my awareness of the huge amount of plastic used by takeaways.

“I wanted to speak out and rally people round, from a range of fields, to tackle this pressing problem and find a long-term solution.”

Some takeaways report using over a 1,000 containers a week and PPAAP is looking to reduce this nationwide.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/PlasticPollutionAAP or email info@ppaap.org.uk

Alternatively, watch https://youtu.be/s4pAnl_MEAc