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You may know him as the bassist of boyband McFly or the winner of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here 2011. But Dougie Poynter has recently added another achievement to his CV: author of kids’ anti-plastic manual, Plastic Sucks! 

Passionate about nature since he was a dinosaur-loving three-year-old, Poynter began campaigning against the use of microbeads some years back after he was alerted to the crisis by 5 Gyres Institute co-founder, Marcus Eriksen. 

When the UK ban came into force last year, Poynter reasoned he could do more. “I had some time so I thought I’d channel all of that into educating kids on the problem, as they are the future gatekeepers of everything,” he says. “That seems to be one of our biggest problems: gatekeepers at the top not necessarily doing the right thing, so might as well plant the seed now.”

Writing as if “for my bandmates’ kids and my mum at the same time”, Poynter’s guide is engaging and educational, brimming with facts, ideas and interviews with “rad” people, from Born Free Foundation president Will Travers OBE to zero waste lifestyle blogger Kate Arnell. 

“The most surprising thing [I learned] is that [the problem] is a lot worse than we probably think,” Poynter explains. “But on the positive, my friend Markus [Eriksen] reckons that if we can cut our plastic output by 20%, then we’ll be able to keep up with the amount of plastic that the ocean is spitting back out there.” 

Whilst he personally finds plastic packaging the hardest to avoid, he says easy swaps Londoners can make include switching to bamboo toothbrushes and reusable carrier bags. “It’s all those ones that we hear a lot of, but they make a huge, huge difference.”

While he “quite likes” that his book will now make him accountable for his own plastic use — “I don’t want to be hypocritical” — with rehearsals imminent for McFly’s November comeback show at the O2, will Poynter find himself playing the plastic police? 

“We never really waste too much,” he says. “Once things are built and in place, there’s not really that much plastic junk from our band.” 

He adds: “No one wants to be part of the problem, everyone wants to be part of the solution, most people I know anyway.”

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