When it comes to our values and what is important to us, being sustainable and looking after the environment is very high on our list. With 100 miles of stunning coastline in Dorset we want to make sure we are helping to protect the world’s oceans. That’s why, earlier this year two exciting things happened at Dorset Tea – we launched our new sustainable packaging and we partnered with the Marine Conservation Society.
We were all excited to see the first delivery of our new tea boxes. Inside you’ll still find the same great tasting tea, but we made some small changes that have had a big impact. From removing the gold lettering on the outer packaging so that it is 100% recyclable to the sift proof packaging which does not require inner foil bags, we considered aspects. We also introduced biodegradable teabags using plant-based, heat-sealed paper that can be composted. The box does not require outer packaging either.
We were all ready acutely aware of the damage that is being caused by single use plastic and littering and we’ve seen proof of this along our own coastline. Today our oceans are in poor health because of human activity. The Marine Conservation Society is determined to change this, working with communities, businesses and governments. They have been the voice of the sea for more than 30 years. They use science to track the health of our waters and find ways to prevent and clean up marine litter and pollution.
When we partnered with this fantastic charity earlier this year, we wanted to help raise awareness of the great work they are undertaking. As part of our collaboration, in September, we joined forces and helped to enable local Dorset schools to take part in their Beachwatch programme.
Dorset schools take part in Sandbanks beach clean
On 20th September, forty pupils from local Dorset schools made their way to Sandbanks Beach ready to do their best to rid the beach of the accumulated litter. When we arrived, at first glance the beach looked in pretty good order, but we were amazed when it didn’t take long to come across loads of different types of rubbish which the children eagerly picked up (with gloves and litter pickers) and loaded into bags ready to be taken off the beach and away from the water.
The pupils were so engaged and loved having the opportunity to listen to the team from the Marine Conservation Society who explained to them the importance of protecting our environment in our every day lives. As well as collecting the litter they discussed the materials and sources and talked about how we can stop it reaching the ocean. Interestingly, on this particular beach clean, it was cigarette butts that were the most common offenders and as our friends at the Marine Conservation Society told us, that meant people were leaving their own litter directly on the beach, it wasn’t a case of it being washed up from elsewhere.
We caught up with Jenny Griffiths, Education Manager at the Marine Conservation Society to get her take on the day. “We were delighted to work with Dorset Tea on engaging Dorset schools with our Beachwatch programme. Our vision is a world where every child in the UK has access to the experiences, information and knowledge to enable them to develop a lifelong connection to the ocean and live as an ocean literate citizen. The children showed a great interest in learning about beach litter and the threat it poses to our fragile marine environment. They had lots of fun too! Thanks to Dorset Tea for supporting the event”.
Ocean Solutions at COP26
Here at Dorset Tea, when we’re not busy brewing, you’ll always find us out and about enjoying our local beaches. Whether we’re walking our dogs, building sandcastles with our children or dashing across the sand to the now icy waters, we love our ocean and we want to live in a world where everyone is educated and enabled to help protect it. With organisations like the Marine Conservation Society playing such an important role in fighting for our seas we feel confident that things can change. At COP26 the charity will be calling on the UK Government to invest in ocean solutions to fight the climate crisis. Here on their website they explain the fact that 25% of our carbon emissions are captured and stored by the sea – it is vital that marine and coastal environments are protected so they can continue to play their part in curbing global warming .The Marine Conservation Society have explained their hopes from COP26 here and we’d urge you to read what they have to say.
A final word from the Marine Conservation Society
“Dorset Tea has been so enthusiastic about working with us on this engagement project for schools. It has been a pleasure to see our plans come to fruition. Our partnership with their Sunshine Blend tea shows a wider commitment to eliminating single-use plastics from their business which is great”. Sanjay Mitra, Corporate Partnerships Manager.
If you are connected to a school and would like to take part in our 2022 beach clean then please get in touch with us. There are also some fantastic resources available on the Marine Conservation website, such as their seashore safari guide. It introduces commonly-found shells and other natural artefacts and helps connect children to marine wildlife. And if you live locally and simply want to do your bit to help keep our oceans healthy here are three really easy ways you can start:
- Take part in year-round beach cleans and litter surveys
- Become a sea champion and help spread the word of the important work the MCS are undertaking
- Report marine wildlife sightings on the MCS website