The Environment - Rotary's New Area of Focus

Within days of the news from the Rotary International Online Convention that Rotary as a worldwide organisation has adopted The Environment as a seventh area of focus, Plympton Rotary are pleased to announce that they have embraced this news and have become the latest group to sign Environment Plymouth’s “Plastic Free Plymouth” pledge – and have become the first of the city’s Rotary clubs to submit their pledge – although others have given a commitment to do so shortly.

New club President of Plympton Rotary, Darren Hands said “We are delighted to be able to take action within this new area of focus for Rotary clubs so soon after it’s announcement. It was fitting that the club’s members unanimously adopted the pledge with Diana Award winner and Beach Guardian and Plastic Warrior, Emily Stevenson speaking to us at our first meeting of this new Rotary year.”

“We may only be one clog in the bigger machine that is Rotary, but without the actions of clubs like ours and the other Rotary clubs in and around Plymouth, the organisation cannot work and achieve the great work we do in our communities around the world”
One of the actions Plympton Rotary already has pencilled in their diary, co-vid restrictions permitting, is a repeat of the beach clean they undertook last October at Bovisand Beach. This was a very popular activity last year and saw collaboration with other groups such as the Marine Conservation Society, the Plymouth Albion Ladies Rugby Team, Andy’s Man Club and Saltram Rotary.
Jackie Young from Environment Plymouth said “A warm welcome to our latest Plastic Free Community Ambassadors, Plympton Rotary.” She went on to say “Lockdown may have limited what we can do to clean up beaches but the continued interest in the Plastic Free Plymouth campaign is a great example of the commitment people have made to continuing their action on reducing single use or avoidable plastics. We look forward to working with Plympton Rotary’s members as lockdown is lifted and thank them for their commitment to a cleaner local environment for future generations.”

Club President Darren further said that “The education of these matters is also very important and we were delighted to kick off the new Rotary year with a talk on Beach Guardians and Plastic Waste from Emily Stevenson, who just the day before had been revealed as a recipient of the Diana Award for her work in this area. We had visiting Rotarians at the meeting from all over the world who reminded us all that this is a global issue and following the talk are now looking to see ways they can adopt the ideas of the Beach Guardian initiative that Emily spoke about”

Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair, Gary C.K. Huang said that with the global population reaching near eight billion, protecting the environment is increasingly important.

“It is time for us to use our collective resources to invest in a smart and efficient way to protecting our environment,” says Huang. “We are qualified to take this initiative because we, Rotary, are a global group of problem solvers with diversified talents.”
Supporting the environment becomes Rotary's seventh area of focus, which are categories of service activities for which Rotary clubs can gain funding and support via global grants from The Rotary Foundation. It joins peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development.