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Breakfast Club- The Nautilus Project
29th March 2018 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Business and The Environment: GFSB Breakfast Club with The Nautilus Project
On 29th March, Gibraltar Federation of Small Business’ members learned about how they, as local small businesses, could make a difference to our environment, and in particular, to our seas. Lewis Stagnetto of The Nautilus Project presented the Breakfast Club seminar with clear, sometimes graphic information on how pollution from plastics affects our environment. As a marine biologist currently researching for a PhD with the University of Gibraltar, and a regular diver, Lewis is well placed to share his knowledge of the detrimental effects of pollution on marine life. He also clearly explained the link, in terms of the food chain, of how ingestion of plastics by fish can cause detrimental effects in humans.
The Nautilus Project already has successful on-going campaigns for raising awareness of plastic pollution of the sea, and also initiatives to encourage individuals and local businesses to reduce their use of plastics, especially single use plastics. These include local beach cleans, presentations at schools and community groups and – perhaps more business-orientated – the #Plastics2Paper, #PawsoffStraws and #Refill campaigns. These campaigns encourage businesses to reduce plastic use in a number of ways, for example, by swapping from issuing customers with plastic carrier bags to issuing paper bags instead. Businesses receive certificates, which can be displayed prominently in shop doors or windows. With growing support for reducing plastic waste among the public, these serve to appeal to customers.
The Nautilus Project’s Facebook page regularly includes details of businesses that have joined their campaigns, adding useful publicity. Members at the Seminar discussed the role of businesses within local community initiatives: for example, in recent weeks, The Nautilus Project and The Hunter Group launched a #Refill campaign whereby refill points for water bottles are made available in various locations to help encourage members of the public to avoid buying water through single use plastic bottles. Already other businesses in Gibraltar are beginning to follow suit and offer free water refills.
The issues of environmental protection were discussed in depth, with ideas being explored that are very specific to Gibraltar, such as the quality and taste of the water, how water filters can help improve the taste without recourse to bottled water in single use plastic bottles, and what businesses can do to make a difference: in Lewis’ words: “small changes can make a big difference”. With ever increasing public awareness of the issues around the use of plastics, and with easier access to recycling facilities, the business case for reducing plastic use and participating in environmental initiatives has never been stronger.