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Sky unveils new environmental campaign, Sky Ocean Rescue

New campaign will bring to the fore the dire health of the planet’s oceans to millions of people across Europe

Sky Ocean Rescue logo image

Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, today reveals details of its new environmental campaign, Sky Ocean Rescue, which will bring to the fore the dire health of the planet’s oceans to millions of people across Europe. The campaign, initially led by Sky News, aims to educate and inspire people to change their behaviour to help protect our oceans and dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste produced every day that end up in them.

  • Aimed at educating and inspiring customers and the wider public about the impact that humankind is having on ocean health, starting with a focus on the need to reduce plastic waste
  • Launches 24 January 2017 with two days of coverage on Sky News and TG24 including  documentary “A Plastic Tide” looking at the problem of single-use plastics
  • Sky News poll shows that 84% of people are concerned about the amount of plastic pollution in our oceans
  • HRH The Prince of Wales, long term environmental leader, lends his support to campaign

Sky Ocean Rescue will encompass a range of initiatives to highlight the issues affecting ocean health, starting with single-use plastics.

Sky News reaches 107 million people per week and by bringing the issues to life through its platforms hopes to inspire millions of people to take action, discuss solutions and join the organisation in making a difference. This will be achieved by helping people to see how they can help reverse the damage being done to our oceans in a way that is relevant to their everyday lives and asking them to make simple behavioural changes. 

It will also ensure that action inside Sky business matches this ambition. The company is dramatically reducing single-use plastics across its sites, starting by removing all single-use plastic water bottles, plastic straws, cups and micro beads in cleaning products.

Sky Ocean Rescue will officially launch at 6am on 24 January on Sky News with two days of special coverage to show the magnitude of the issues around ocean health, the impact it is having on the world, and how we can all change our behaviour to make a difference by reducing our reliance on single-use plastics.

Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive of Sky, commented: “At Sky we want to make a difference to issues that really matter, particularly for our customers. We have, I believe, a strong history in using our voice to make an impact when it comes to environmental issues. The health of our oceans is in a dire state and we ignore it at our peril, so we are asking all our customers around Europe to help us to bring ocean health to the fore. We will put the full weight of Sky behind the campaign and I firmly believe together we can make a meaningful difference.”

HRH The Prince of Wales, a long term environmental leader, has lent his support to the campaign and when speaking to Sky News on the release of the new Ladybird Expert Guide to Climate Change that he authored, said: “I find it sobering to think that almost all the plastic ever produced is still here somewhere on the planet in one form or another and will remain here for centuries to come, possibly thousands of years. Sky’s ocean plastics campaign will hopefully create further awareness of this incredibly serious issue.”

Single-use, disposable product accounts for 40% of all plastic. This includes drinks bottles, cotton buds, straws, coffee stirrers and plastic cutlery. This kind of plastic is used for just a few seconds and will then remain on our planet for centuries. 

A Sky News poll shows that 84% of people are concerned about the amount of plastic pollution in our oceans yet the problem is at crisis point.

This is a global issue, but also one that is keenly affecting the health of the beaches in the UK.  On 24 January the Sky News team will report from different beaches around the world – from Mumbai to Weston-super-Mare – and look at plastic waste in the ocean and the devastating impact it has on the environment, marine life and how it is infiltrating the human food chain and entering our systems.

The coverage will also feature  a special one-hour documentary “A Plastic Tide” airing at 8pm on Sky Atlantic focusing on the devastating effects of plastic pollution in our oceans, and the impact it could be having on us all. Viewers will have a chance to catch the documentary again the following day on Sky News and its multiple digital products. 

On the day of launch and throughout the course of the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign members of the public will be asked to join the campaign and make lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of plastic they use. More information and details on how to join the campaign are available at www.skyoceanresue.com

Sky Ocean Rescue is launched off the back of the company’s six-year partnership with WWF and the successful campaign, Sky Rainforest Rescue, that increased 7.3 million people’s understanding of deforestation in the UK, kept one billion trees standing in Acre, Brazil, raised over £9million and inspired more than 1.5 million people to take action against climate change.

This made it possible to support a range of conservation work in Acre, Brazil, designed to give local people ways of making a sustainable living from the rainforest without having to cut down trees. As a result of the successes of the project, the national and state governments in Brazil set further targets to stop illegal deforestation.

Key Statistics

  • 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, with 8 million tons more ending up in there every year
  • The average family uses 55 kilograms of plastic every year – a rubbish truck’s worth
  • A rubbish truck’s worth of plastic is dumped in the ocean every minute
  • 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, with 8 million tons more ending up in there every year
  • 84% of people say they’re concerned about the impact of plastic in the ocean (source: Sky Data)
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year (source: Science Magazine)
  • By 2050, the plastic in the oceans COULD weigh more than all the fish (source: Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
  • Most types of plastic are not biodegradable. They can stay in the ocean for centuries. (source: UNEP)
  • Microplastics have been found inside a third of fish in the English Channel (source: Plymouth University)
  • We use over 35 MILLION plastic bottles every day in the UK (Source WRAP)
  • 40% of all plastic in Europe is only used once (source: plastics Europe)
  • 13 billion single-use plastic bottles are sold in Britain each year (an average of 200 per person) – less than half of these are recycle
  • 80% of the plastic pollution in the ocean comes from us on lan
  • Less than 50% of plastic bottles in the UK are recycled after use. (NB – 52% are left out of recycling – less than that are actually recycled due to contamination)
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