Just two weeks after Environment Minister John Cortes announced at an Island Games reception a “plastics free 2019 Games”, the Gibraltar Government has followed up with what it called “a plastic water bottle free Summer Sports programme”.
In keeping with the Government’s policy on single-use plastics, the GSLA will not be distributing water in plastic bottles during its annual Summer Sports Programme, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Sport and Culture yesterday.
Instead, participants have been encouraged to bring along re-usable bottles as drinking water will be provided on site.
“Key to this has been the assistance of AquaGib Ltd who have very kindly sponsored all civil works to provide a refilling station suitably located to allow children to refill their bottles when required,” the Government said.
GSLA CEO Reagan Lima expressed his delight with the assistance provide, adding that “as well as the provision of the refill station AquaGib Ltd have also made available numerous reusable bottles to be distributed amongst the children on the programme.”
“We all know the issues surrounding the abuse of single use plastics and we were very keen to instil this ethos in to our participants,” he said.
“Hopefully, this mind-set will become the norm rather than the exception.”
The “plastic free” policy was, however, not extended throughout the Summer Sports Programme this week with children, only yesterday, still being supplied with plastic water bottles in the GFA football summer camp, which is being run in conjunction with the Summer Sports Programme.
The GFA is, nevertheless, understood to be in the process of introducing its own plastic-free policies this forthcoming season, according to GFA officials.
The plastic-free campaign, which has attracted attention globally after Sky’s Ocean Rescue project, has in recent weeks also extended into the local beach community.
Social media has recently highlighted how some children and adults have been voluntarily picking up plastic debris from the seas and beaches.
In one report a young girl went about picking rubbish from a beach, filling four bags.
Lee Tierney, a local surfer, has also been among those who have voluntarily put their efforts into collecting plastics from the sea this summer. Only this weekend, assisted by his 11-year old nephew, Nate Ryal, they were praised by the Nautilus Project for their efforts.
The local surfer, who frequently surfs Gibraltar waters, expressed his dismay at the amount of plastic debris he finds during his time on the waves, and encouraged people to consider disposing their litter appropriately as it finds its way into the seas.
The surfer highlighted how he is encouraging his friends and family, including children, to properly dispose of plastic goods, especially in proximity to the sea and shoreline.