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Prime Minister awards innovative plastic pollution campaigner (Starboard team rider Cal Major) on World Oceans Day.

The Prime Minister has today, 8th June, recognised Cal Major, from Devon, for raising awareness of plastic pollution.

Cal is travelling the length of Great Britain on a paddle board as part of an innovative campaign to highlight the effects of plastic pollution in our seas. During her 1000 mile route from Land’s End to John O’Groats, Cal will be collecting plastic waste and calling in at some of Britain’s best loved beaches to engage in clean-up activities.

Cal is the founder of ‘Paddle Against Plastic’ which undertakes stand up paddle boarding adventures in order to capture people's imagination around the issue of plastic debris in our oceans and inland waterways. The expeditions propose simple solutions people can easily be a part of, such as carrying a reusable water bottle to cut down on consumption of single-use plastics. In 2017 Cal became the first person to circumnavigate the Isle of Skye on a paddle board and was featured in a short film ‘Skye’s the Limit’ which documented her battle through discarded plastics to show that even remote areas are badly affected by this waste.

Cal is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements. This week, to coincide with World Oceans Day on Friday 8 June, the Prime Minister is recognising outstanding volunteers whose work is making a real difference to ocean conservation efforts.

In a personal letter to Cal, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“By paddling over 1,000 miles along the coastline of the UK while collecting litter and participating in beach clean-ups, you are highlighting the devastating impact plastic pollution is having on our environment. You should feel very proud of how ‘Paddle Against Plastic’ is bringing attention to the important issue of ocean conservation and capturing people’s imaginations with action they can easily take to play their part.

Cal said:

“I'm so honoured to have been awarded the Prime Minister's Point of Light award, especially on World Oceans Day, it really means so much to be recognised, and for my voluntary work to be recognised in this way. I'm currently stand-up paddleboarding a thousand miles from Land's End to John O'Groats, unsupported, it's a never-been-done-before journey, to raise awareness of the plastic pollution the whole length of the UK. There's so much more work still to be done, but there's also so much positive stuff happening. It's a problem we can all be part of the solution for, and all be proud really proud to be part of the solution. So thank you so much for the award, it really means so much. Let's all keep fighting the good fight and solve the problem of plastic pollution together.”​

 

Geoffrey Cox QC, MP for Torridge and West Devon said:

“I would like to congratulate Cal for her innovative Paddle Against Plastic campaign, which has led to her receiving the Points of Light award for being an outstanding volunteer. Reusing and recycling plastics is critical, as without doing so we are set to reach a crisis, with plastic production reaching 34 billion tonnes by 2050, and the majority ending up in landfill or polluting the world’s continents and oceans. Volunteers like Cal make a huge difference in helping to raise awareness of this issue, and she is therefore extremely deserving of this award.”

About the Points of Light

  • The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

  • The Prime Minister makes daily announcements of the winners to celebrate, encourage and promote volunteering and the value that it brings to the country.

  • If people know someone who could be a Point of Light they should write to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.

  • Website: www.pointsoflight.gov.uk

Cal is the 922nd winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.