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Music star swaps stage for fight against plastic

Frightened Rabbit bassist Billy Kennedy is swapping performing for the fight against plastics in a new drive to end throw away culture.

While the campaign against single use plastics has taken a back seat during the coronavirus pandemic, Kennedy and business partner Suzie Bowman have taken the time to assess what the public needs as life begins to return to normal.

The duo have launched a social enterprise, Last, which aims to end the nation’s reliance on single use plastics by helping the public take practical action and inspiring the next generation to take a different approach to life.

Kennedy explains the thinking behind the new venture:

Single use plastics are unsustainable and as people start to emerge from lockdown, we must all think again about our behaviour – this should be an opportunity to make a resolution not to use unnecessary plastics.

We looked around at what was stopping people from making changes for the better and the two issues were a lack of choice and a lack of education.

Through our online shop we provide people with that choice and through our profits we will work with schools to bring about lasting change through education.

The world produces over 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, 50% of which is for single-use purposes. The UK alone generates 1.26 million tonnes of plastic waste, of which just 46.2% is recycled or reused.

According to a UK Parliament report, this has a significant negative impact on health as well as on the environment.

Last co-founder, Suzie Bowman, added:

The speed we were getting through plastic in this country is unsustainable and it must stop. We hope to be able to change the way people shop.

From the kitchen to the bathroom and when we’re out and about, there are many ways that simple swaps can reduce our own plastic use.

The website inspires the public to try new things and buy tried and trusted alternatives to single use plastics.

The supporting schools programme will inspire the next generation to think about plastic and the environment in a different way and is being piloted in a North Lanarkshire primary school to help children understand the environment and their place in it. 

Last was supported by the Firstport start it fund.

Image: John Scott / Alamy

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.