8-year old Rhys Lewis named as winner in nationwide landmark ‘Design a Sea Creature Paper Straw’ competition

Rhys wowed judges for both his terrific artwork and great understanding of marine ecosystems. He poignantly describes how plastic pollution can impact upon marine life – and has been inspired by seeing dolphins on the coastline near his home in Penarth, Wales.

The Happy Ocean Company loves Rhys’ dolphin picture and is looking forward to producing paper straws featuring the design for wholesale distribution.

London, UK: 19 August 2019- The Happy Ocean Company’s Design A Sea Creature Paper Straw competition prompted thousands of entries from all corners of the UK, but it is Rhys Lewis’ design that impressed the judges the most.

Rhys explained how the dolphins he has spotted in Wales inspired his design: “I have seen them. Dolphins are like me, they are playful and joyful. The sea is not just a dolphin’s home, it is its playground. I would not like it if I couldn’t go to my playground because it is full of rubbish. I hope that when people are using my straws they will see the playful dolphin and remember that there are lots of things we can all do to stop any more plastic getting in the sea.”

As the winner, Rhys will receive his own case of dolphin straws, and profits from the commercial sale of these straws will be donated to Surfers Against Sewage, who have themselves done immeasurable work highlighting the perils of plastic pollution.

Sally Cornelius, co-founder at The Happy Ocean Company, explains that the reaction to the competition has surpassed expectations: “We received wonderful pictures of a whole range of sea creatures: turtles, sharks, manta rays, pufferfish. But gladdening our hearts more than anything is how much children understand the challenges these different sea creatures face. It’s massively impressive and can only be a positive thing for the future of our oceans.”

She adds, “We received a letter from Sir David Attenborough in which he described our competition as ‘most valuable’ – and this reflects the level of engagement the competition prompted. It seems the competition has been a simple but effective exercise in teaching children how important it is they make the right decisions as consumers, and how avoiding single-use plastic is one simple way to protect the sea creatures they so love. Hopefully, this sensibility about sustainability will carry through into their adult lives.”

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