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01 May 2019

Taskforce established in South Essex as part of trade enabler’s bid to be free of single-use plastic by 2020 and do its bit to protect the world’s oceans

DP World London Gateway has established a taskforce of suppliers and local businesses to help reduce the amount of single-use plastic being used in their supply chains.

The smart trade hub on the River Thames has already secured agreement from 21 of its suppliers to help eradicate unnecessary plastic use and it is engaging with a further 23 suppliers, urging them to do the same.

Recently, a second meeting of DP World London Gateway’s Ocean’s Together forum was held. Castlepoint Motors, Eurotunnel, Clean Green, Gold Crest Oil, Ringway Jacobs, 727 Truck Parts and Railscape joined the forum as key players, where ideas on how more plastic can be eliminated from the supply chains of these respective organisations was discussed.

The first meeting, held late in 2018, was attended and endorsed by local MP Rebecca Harris.

Data published by Ocean Conservancy claims that nearly 80% of plastic waste in the ocean begins as litter on land, the vast majority of which travels to the sea by rivers.

This initiative forms part of DP World’s efforts globally to do its bit in protecting and preserving the oceans.

DP World London Gateway, which comprises the UK’s fastest growing deep-sea container port and one of the largest development spaces for warehousing and logistics services in Europe, has already ceased use of plastic cups. It is estimated that this will eliminate the use of 48,000 plastic cups on site each year.

With it being clear that companies cannot act in isolation when trying to make a difference on this matter, The Oceans Together Forum seeks to encourage DP World’s suppliers to make changes across their own businesses. Castle Point Motors, an independent garage based in Benfleet, has swapped plastic seat covers for fabric ones.  While Euro Car Parts, a supplier of car service parts with branches across Essex, has started delivering parts in recyclable cardboard boxes.

The forum’s organisations are also encouraging their own suppliers to reduce the amount of single-use plastic that they use.

Emma Cowper, Sustainability Manager, DP World London Gateway, said: “We are focused on improving the sustainability of all of our operations, regardless of the type, and increasing the amount of recycled and renewable material. We continue to make changes to honour our commitment to be single-use plastic free enterprise by 2020. This forum is an important step forward to join the efforts of businesses towards system-wide solutions.”

Owen Draper, General Manager, Castle Point Motors, said: “It takes persistence and a bit of innovative thinking to swap plastic items for alternatives, but when you weigh up the consequences for the ocean and marine life of continuing with the use of single-use plastics, it is worth the effort; it’s all part of operating a responsible business. Alan Forster, the business owner and managing director of Castle Point Motors is fully supportive of this drive by creating new ideas and solutions.”

DP World London Gateway is stepping up in addressing society’s environmental issues such as resource depletion and plastic wastes, by encouraging other business to adopt more environmentally sustainable materials in their operations.

To join the Ocean’s Together Forum, contact Emma Cowper at: emma.cowper@dpworld.com