Ahead of World Oceans Day on 8 June, we’ve launched a social campaign today appealing to the official emoji body, Unicode, to remove the plastic cup and straw emoji from its keyboard. In a bid to halt the normalisation of single-use plastic, #PassOnPlasticEmoji is the first campaign in the world to appeal for an image to be banned from the emoji keyboard.

New research reveals that two-thirds (67%) of Brits are aware of seeing plastic bottles in their local rivers, lakes and sea*. At the same time, we are increasingly bombarded with normalised images of single-use plastic in popular culture and now it’s even infiltrating the global language of emojis and social media – with people reporting seeing plastic emojis every week*. 

However, the tide is now turning, and in a bid to inspire the public to halt the acceptance of plastic in all forms, we’ve launched the #PassOnPlasticEmoji campaign. If this emoji is not banned soon, we might have to remove our beloved marine wildlife emojis as our oceans drown in plastic. 

The campaign is calling on the public to sign a petition https://chn.ge/2Jsropk to ban the emoji and invite friends and followers to do the same using #PassOnPlasticEmoji.

Head of Inspiring Action, Sky Ocean Rescue, Fiona Morgan, said: “Sky is dedicated to raising awareness of ocean health and championing the removal of single use plastic from our business and the public’s everyday lives. Single-use plastic has become an addiction and we use it everywhere. This World Oceans Day, Sky Ocean Rescue is calling on the public to get behind the #PassOnPlasticEmoji petition. Join us in the fight as we all would prefer fish in the sea than plastic.”

To take part, you can sign the petition here and follow @SkyOceanRescue on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more details on how to support the #PassOnPlasticEmoji campaign.

*Research conducted by Fly Research and commissioned by Sky Ocean Rescue to a pool of 1,002 respondents across the UK in May 2018.