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Environment

F1 Star Lewis Hamilton Cleaned Up a Beach and Now Wants Everyone to Stop Using Plastic


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN’s Global Goals address the importance of protecting life on land and life below water, and call for the creation of cities and communities that are sustainable. Everyone will have to join together to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution, and celebrities like Lewis Hamilton are a great way of spreading the word. You can join us by taking action against plastic pollution here

British Formula One star Lewis Hamilton has joined the global effort against plastic waste — by sharing videos of himself on social media cleaning up a beach. 

The four-time world champion was on holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos, when he and his group stumbled across a cove completely full of plastic waste and litter.

They reportedly spent two hours cleaning up the debris piled up on the beach, which Hamilton branded “disgusting.” 

Take action: Call on Governments and Business Leaders to Say No to Single-Use Plastics

“I’m in just one of so many beautiful parts of the world today when we stumbled across this mess,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “We couldn’t stand by, we had to do something.”

“We all need to act, we must stop supporting companies that are blindly fixated on their profits at the expense of our beautiful planet and its environment,” he added. “Please don’t buy plastic. Please always recycle, we can all make a huge difference through the actions that we take every single day.” 

In an Instagram video shared on Tuesday afternoon — which has already been viewed more than 440,000 times — he urged his followers to “think, think about it” as he called on the public to stop buying plastic and polystyrene. 

He later shared images of himself on his Instagram story surrounded by bin bags full of plastic waste. 

Hamilton’s efforts have attracted a lot of attention on social media, with many praising him for helping raise awareness of an important issue. 

Environmental campaign group Surfers Against Sewage, for example, tweeted: “Yes Lewis Hamilton! Thank you for shining a global light on plastic pollution. It will take a huge team effort to solve such a huge issue, but we’re optimistic that one day we’ll see plastic-free coastlines.” 

Surfers Against Sewage is also behind the successful campaign calling on UK parliament to go plastic-free. 

Others, meanwhile, have pointed to the environmental impact of F1 — including one Twitter user who called on the motorsport to ban disposable plastic water bottles at races, and eliminate plastic bags. 

Hamilton’s beach clean-up is just a small part of a massive global effort against plastic waste, largely sparked by broadcaster David Attenborough’s 2017 documentary Blue Planet II, which explored the impact we’re having on the marine environment. 

The tidal wave of anti-plastic actions has seen nationwide bans on plastic bags; voluntary plastic bans from major retailers, supermarkets, and restaurants including McDonald’s and Starbucks, among others; and a growing movement among members of the public to cut single-use plastics out of their lives.