Polar Bears set loose with plastic message in Plymouth this winter

Pictured are the polar bears with representatives of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and National Marine Aquarium.

The Arctic, oceans, polar bears and single-use plastics have all been brought together in a new family activity this winter in Plymouth Britain’s Ocean City.

20 polar bear cubs have been set loose across Plymouth’s waterfront, each with a bear fact that sends a serious message on how single-use plastics are affecting the oceans and the Arctic habitat.

With messaging supported by the WWF, the polar bear cubs have been introduced by the business-driven Plymouth Waterfront Partnership (PWP) and their campaign partner the National Marine Aquarium.

Plymouth’s Plan for Plastics aims to tackle plastic pollution and reduce single use plastics.

For 14 weeks, between 25 November and 3 March, the Polar Bear Explorer will see the cubs hiding at locations across Sutton Harbour, the Barbican, Hoe, Millbay and Royal William Yard, in shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels along the waterfront.

Offering a new experience in Britain’s Ocean City, families are encouraged to become Polar Bear Explorers and find each of the 20 cubs. Along the way families will learn about the oceans, polar bears and how they can help to protect their natural Arctic home.

Everyone who finds all 20 polar bear cubs and completes their Explorer entry form will receive a Polar Bear Explorer certificate and will be entered into a draw to win great prizes, including family tickets for the National Marine Aquarium and Polar Bear adoption through WWF.

You’ll be able to spot the polar bears at Sutton Harbour, the Barbican, Hoe, Millbay and Royal William Yard, in shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels along the waterfront.

Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager and Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said “Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City is a leading waterfront city in the UK, and every year our business community creates trails to provide free family fun and encourage greater footfall. Plymouth is leading the way on efforts to reduce single-use plastics so this year we selected this topical subject to help to encourage our community to make more changes at home, at school and in the workplace.

More than 70 business pioneers and 50 community ambassadors have committed to reducing single use plastics.

“Shockingly, we’re told that, due to micro plastics, the Arctic is one of the most polluted locations on Earth and with the immense appeal of Polar Bears we wanted to engage families and especially children in learning more about what we can all do to make a difference. We’re delighted to have partnered with the National Marine Aquarium and to have received support from the WWF and soon we’ll be working with schools. This trail is fun, free and educational, so we’re now looking forward to seeing how many families will take up the challenge to become Polar Bear Explorers!”

Nicola Bridge, Head of Conservation Education and Communication & Marketing at the National Marine Aquarium, said: “The NMA is proud to be a campaign partner of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership’s Polar Bear Explorer trail this winter. We hope to see this engaging family initiative help draw visitors to Plymouth’s Waterfront whilst promoting the importance of caring for our Oceans. The NMA’s mission is connecting people with our Oceans and promoting pro-Ocean behaviour. We believe that initiatives like the Polar Bear Explorer trail will help to highlight the importance of the marine environment to everyone.”

The Polar Bear Explorer trail launches on Sunday 25 November, the same day as the Barbican Christmas Lights switch on which takes place on Southside Street at 5pm.

Polar Bear Explorer maps will be available to collect from the Barbican Tourist Information Centre, National Marine Aquarium, Bistrot Pierre at Royal William Yard, Plymouth City Centre Library, other participating businesses or can be downloaded from the Visit Plymouth website.

Other activities are planned throughout the 14 week event including workshops and exhibitions.

For more information, or to enter online, check out the Visit Plymouth website.

Plymouth Waterfront Partnership

Plymouth Waterfront Partnership is a not for profit Business Improvement District, focused on delivering a five year business plan to bring improvements to the Britain’s Ocean City Waterfront area. Projects include Events, Marketing and Regeneration.

Plymouth’s Plan for Plastics

As Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth is leading the way in the world-wide effort to cut out single-use plastics in our natural environment. Across the city communities, businesses, educational organisations and research establishments have all worked together to create the Plan for Plastics. Our Plan is framed around four fundamental principles: AVOID, RECYCLE, INNOVATE and CONNECT. We’ve already achieved a Plastic Free Plymouth Waterfront (Surfers Against Sewage, June 2018), can you help us achieve more? Find out more from: visitplymouth.co.uk/explore/plan-for-plastics. #PlasticsPledgePlym