Cal recommends a healthy dose of Vitamin Sea

Out at sea Cal Major found herself getting tangled up in plastic. Photograph: James Appleton

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Returning to Tarbert, Cal Major arrived by land instead of sea to bring the town a thought-provoking film screening.

During her 1,000-mile stand-up paddleboarding expedition from Land’s End to John O’Groats, Cal found herself in need of shelter and headed for Tarbert.

Suse and John Coon had been following the Paddle Against Plastic campaign and contacted Cal to say if she found herself in that direction there would be a bed for her, so a call was made and Cal was warmly welcomed by the couple at the harbour.

Falling in love with the place and the community, Cal felt it was only right Tarbert featured on her UK film tour of Vitamin Sea – a movie documenting her world record expedition. The screening, held on Wednesday September 11 at Templar Arts and Leisure Centre, was well attended by all ages and was a great night of positive engagement in the battle against plastic.

Speaking about Tarbert, Cal said: ‘I feel so at home here. I’ve been welcomed here with open arms by people I’ve never met before. I absolutely love it. The whole community is so friendly, so welcoming and so engaged. The conversations we have had have been wonderful. People really want to get on board with this.’

The Paddle Against Plastic campaign was started by Cal in 2015, following a trip to Tiree. Strewn across the white sands and bobbing in the turquoise water was multi-coloured plastic and quickly Cal started to notice plastic everywhere she went surfing.

With a desire to connect people to the simple and positive solutions to the issue, Cal decided to start using stand-up paddleboarding adventures to capture people’s imagination and connect them to the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Speaking about her campaign, Cal commented: ‘As a society, I think we have become disconnected from our natural world and what it means to be a human within that world and, actually, if we can fall back in love with that natural world, we’re going to want to protect it.

‘The places I’ve found the most effective campaigns are in communities that are supporting each other in tackling plastic pollution on a grassroots level. We’ve seen in the past few years that the number of people caring about this is increasing so much that our voices have got so big companies and governments are having to listen. It’s no longer a few people shouting about it and it falling on deaf ears.’

Encouraging people to get involved, Cal said: ‘There are loads of different levels of action we can take as individuals. Just doing simple things can help us feel like we are a part of the solution, inspiring further hope and further change. We are all a very small piece in a very large jigsaw but those small pieces need to be in action to make it happen.’

Following a successful screening of Vitamin Sea, Cal joined the Tarbert Keeping Well Group the following day to share a special screening of Skye’s the Limit, her award-winning film about her solo circumnavigation of the Isle of Skye on a stand -up paddleboard in 2017. The aim of this film was to show that even remote places are being impacted by plastic pollution.