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#doitfordavid: Oswestry teacher Mandy’s purge on plastic goes viral

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | News | Published:

Inspired by David Attenborough, Oswestry teacher Mandy Price and her daughter Becky decided to do their bit for the environment.

Mandy Price with pupils Jac Herbert, Scarlett Vaughan and Isabella Morris

During a visit to beach they spent a few minutes picking up washed-up plastic, just a fraction of the amount floating in our oceans.

They decided to share their actions online, particularly in the light of the powerful documentary Blue Planet 2, which brought the issue of sea pollution to an audience of around 10 million.

Branding their mini campaign #doitfordavid, they expected a little local interest from their home town of Oswestry.

Inspiration – David Attenborough

But, just a few weeks later, their posts have been shared 125,000 times and counting – and have reached every continent of the world except Antarctica.

Mandy Price, Oswestry School’s art and drama teacher, said she has been amazed by the response following their visit to the beach on the Abersoch coast. And her campaign has been taken on by her pupils, who have been made aware of the issue and have even set about collecting discarded plastic from the streets of their town.

"The sand was littered with plastic and as we picked it up we thought people should do this everywhere not just on the beach," said Mandy.

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She had no idea how extensive the problem of plastic was until she watched Blue Planet 2, and in particular the programme called The Plastic Whale.

"It moved me to tears when I saw what was happening to the world’s marine life. Having swum with wild turtles in Mexico a couple of years ago I want all children, and their children’s children, to have the same opportunities to experience a thriving ocean."

The mother and daughter started researching and found out that 80 per cent of what ends up in the ocean comes from inland, via rivers and wind.

"If everyone started to pick a bit up a little bit of plastic when they went for a walk, these small steps could escalate into a positive planet saver. People may not do it for us but they might do it for Sir David Attenborough."

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Mandy spread the word at Oswestry School, giving an assembly for pupils about the issue and she says she has been heartened by the response.

She added: “I can’t believe how positively this campaign has been received around the world. The Facebook page has been receiving photographs from lots of different people who are collecting plastic, even from holidaymakers in Cuba who have seen the posts and have recorded their own two-minute beach clean on the beautiful beaches there.

"The support we are receiving reaffirms my belief in the human race and makes me hopeful that we can change the current state of the oceans and protect the wildlife that live within the seas. "I hope that, if Sir David should hear about our efforts, he would be proud to have ignited this global response to his plea. ”

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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