Marine Conservation Society

Optical Express tackles plastic pollution and joins the Marine Conservation Society

As part of our commitment to becoming the world’s most environmentally and socially conscious eye care provider, Optical Express have become a business member of the Marine Conservation Society, the UK’s leading marine charity, to support their work to protect our oceans and marine life from plastic pollution.

For the last 26 years, campaigns from the MCS to protect the UK’s seas, shores and wildlife reflect their mission to lead political, cultural and social change for healthy seas and coasts that support abundant wildlife, sustainable livelihoods and enjoyment for all.

One of the Marine Conservation Society’s most well-known and inspiring campaigns is their ‘Great British Beach Clean’ which takes place every year. Over the last 26 years beach clean volunteers have removed a whopping 6 million pieces of litter from our beaches. As part of the clean-up process to tackle microplastics and plastics pollution, all of the findings are collated into marine litter data to support campaigns for cleaner seas and beaches.

As a charity MCS rely on the support of members to donate funds as well as their time,  to help the environmental charity to campaign, lobby, record, clean, advise and influence, ensuring that every year our UK beaches and seas are in a better state for future generations.

In November this year, a team of eight from Optical Express took part in a beach clean-up at Clevedon Pier, near Bristol. Colleagues from Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton and Plymouth took part in the exercise to remove plastic pollution, supporting Clevedon Pier and Heritage Trust, in the year where this stunning Victorian pier celebrated its 150th birthday.

Every year, over 1 million people take part in MCS campaigns and projects. Heather Suttie, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Optical Express said “I’m absolutely delighted that as a business we’re supporting the amazing work of this ground breaking environmental charity. I was really shocked at the amount of plastic we collected on our clean up, it’s also worrying that microplastics are usually 5mm in length, so quite hard to see. Optical Express are committed to playing our part for the environment and I can’t wait to join more colleagues across the UK and Ireland for beach clean-ups in 2020. It’s a great day out for people of all ages and so worthwhile.”

Anne Thwaites, Corporate Relationships Manager, Marine Conservation Society  said “We are delighted to receive support for our work from our new business member Optical Express, and look forward to working together in support of marine conservation."

Celebrity Ambassadors include Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden, Welsh broadcaster Iolo Williams, Susie Rodgers MBE and former European and Paralympic Champion, TV presenter Simon Reeve, naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham CBE, former Olympic swimmer Sharon Davies MBE and Emmy and BAFTA award winning Blue Planet photographer, filmmaker and marine biologist, Doug Allan.

David Moulsdale, Optical Express Chief Executive and Chairman, said: “The Marine Conservation Society does incredible work protecting our precious oceans and beaches, so it’s a privilege to team up and support their efforts. Whilst cleaning up plastic pollution is a vital part of this work, our real aim should be to cut down on the amount of plastic products we use in the first place. I’d encourage everyone to look carefully at the single-use plastic products they use and consider replacing them with more sustainable, ocean-friendly alternatives. We look forward to supporting MCS with a number of initiatives in 2020.”