Young golfers from across the UK are being invited to participate in a new project that will help combat plastic pollution and reduce its impact on the planet. Through educational workshops and beach cleans, youngsters will explore sources of pollution and the impact on marine environments and identify positive actions that golf clubs can take. They will then be set the challenge to drive change at their own golf clubs.
“Golf is played in beautiful places,” says founder of sustainable golf brand OCEANTEE and lead on the FORETHEOCEAN project Ed Sandison. “We want future generations to be able to enjoy the fabulous views and wildlife we all take for granted and that means taking action now to protect the environment. We hope these youngsters go away feeling empowered to become activists and inspire others to take action themselves.”
OCEANTEE is bringing together its partners the Marine Conservation Society, who are providing the education, and The Ladies European Tour (LET) who hosted the launch session at The Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open on August 10 at Dumbarnie Links. Young people from across the region attended the workshop, which explored Scottish marine wildlife, focusing on marine conservation, and the effects of litter, particularly single use plastic, on the environment.
Jenny Griffiths, education manager at the Marine Conservation Society, says: “As well as using our beach clean data to understand pollution, the young golfers will also be making their own contribution to our database by taking part in a beach clean. We’ve been cleaning beaches and collecting data for over 30 years, which helps us identify patterns and inform our campaigns, so these young people really will help shape the future of our work.”
Golf clubs will be encouraged to share their work in progress and track results with one lucky venue winning a visit from a tour golfer. The project is aligned with the sustainability initiative that the LET launched last year – Celebrating the Green, presented by Dow delivered in close partnership with the GEO Foundation – which aims to champion environment, climate, and community action across women’s golf. After the introduction of this initiative, the LET was delighted to announce OCEANTEE as a Proud Supplier for the 2021 season with players and pro am competitors having access to their award-winning durable and sustainable bamboo tees.
“The LET is committed to working with our partners to create a positive change, which is why we are so pleased to be able to support this amazing project. There is an immediate impact in terms of the beach clean and in the longer term, it will be part of driving the conversation around the practical implications for golf and the environment,” said LET commercial director Emma Allerton.
OCEANTEE and The Marine Conservation Society plan to roll the education out in various formats to golf clubs and tournaments in the coming year.