Extinction Rebellion Targets Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Action against single-use plastics started on the eve of tennis fortnight

Extinction Rebellion protests in Wimbledon
Climate change campaign group Extinction Rebellion is staging a peaceful protest at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships against what it calls the “scourge” of single-use plastics.

Extinction Rebellion’s Wandsworth and Merton groups launched the joint action, “Love All, Hate Plastic” on Sunday (June 30).

In the Wimbledon Park campsite of people queuing to get into the tournament on Monday, rebels dressed as umpires and staged a street theatre tennis match between a giant squid and a plastic water bottle labelled "Naive". 

The group said in a statement: “The Championships’ sponsors include drinks companies Evian and Robinsons who are responsible for adding to the unacceptable proliferation of single-use plastic waste that threatens biodiversity in our oceans and contributes to climate chaos.

Plastic bottle“Most plastic bottles used for soft drinks and water are made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) which is recyclable. But as their use soars across the globe, efforts to collect and recycle the bottles are failing to keep up. Between 5 million and 13 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by sea birds, fish and other organisms, and by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish, according to research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who co-hosted the recent BBC documentary War on Plastic, said: “Plastic production has doubled since the year 2000, and it’s accelerating. If this trend continues, then by 2050, plastic production will be responsible for 15% of global carbon emissions.

 “The Ineos plastic manufacturing plant in Grangemouth uses the same amount of electricity as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen combined just to keep it running, plus huge quantities of fossil fuels, which are used to manufacture nearly all plastics.

“Recycling isn’t enough. If we want the Earth and its seas to remain habitable, we need to radically reduce the amount of plastic we use – and particularly single-use plastics.”

July 5, 2019