To combat plastic pollution, we need to work together. So here at Plastic Patrol we love to share the stories and ideas of the amazing things people fighting to reduce our plastic footprints. We spoke to Ella and Amy Meek, two normal kids aged 11 and 13, doing extra-ordinary things with their campaign: Kids Against Plastic.
What is Kid’s Against Plastic all about?
Kids Against Plastic is a campaign that we founded because, as children, we’ve realised that frankly, we don’t have time to wait for the government or people in power to take action anymore. We know that as the future generation, we are going to inherit this planet and the problem of plastic pollution that faces it, so our campaign is aiming to raise awareness of and ultimately stop the MASSIVE issue of single-use plastic pollution from getting any worse.
What was the inspiration for your campaign?
When we started our campaign, we were being home-schooled by our parents and studying the UN’s global goals for sustainable development (http://www.globalgoals.org/). We discovered the problem of single-use plastic, and how devastating and horrifying plastic pollution is. Part of the UN Global Goals is to not only learn about the problems, but share them and take action, so that is exactly what we decided to do!
What worries you most about plastic?
Plastic is a material that will last forever and yet we’re using it to make products that we use once for about 15 minutes before binning them! Plastic is a man-made material made of a cocktail of chemicals and as it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, never biodegrading, these chemicals are entering our atmosphere and affecting wildlife, and ultimately us.
What would you like to tell the kids out there?
Our message to kids is: This is going to be our planet and we don’t want to grow up in a society and a world choked by plastic. This is a worldwide problem so there is no hiding from it; our actions and our parents’ actions will come back to bite us. But, at the moment, it isn’t too late to stop this issue; every person can do something for the planet and if everyone does their little bit, then it will make a bigger impact than you might think! We have called our campaign Kids Against Plastic for a reason – we want it to be more than just us campaigning against plastic. We want other kids to join us too! You can do this by emailing via our website: www.kidsagainstplastic.co.uk.
What are your biggest achievements so far?
We have lots of achievements that we are proud of. Since we started we have picked up almost 50,000 pieces of single-use plastic bottles, bags, cups and lids, and straws, which is half of the total that we are aiming for (100,000 – one for each sea mammal killed each year due to plastic). We have won an environmental award from the Nottingham Post, had support from people like Steve Backshall and Ben Fogle, converted cafes and businesses to become Plastic Clever and inspired kids to fight plastic pollution.
What’s next for Kids Against Plastic?
Our plan is to continue to raise awareness of the plastic pollution problem and focus on making more cafes, businesses, adventurers and schools Plastic Clever (this means refusing the Big 4 Plastic Polluters: plastic coffee cups and lids, plastic bags, plastic straws and plastic bottles). You could also help to make a café, school or business near you Plastic Clever. We need everyone to join in with the action and campaigning. Remember, no action is too small or too big, so do what you can, now.