This is a story of two girls aged 11 and 13 years who aree determined to raise awareness about single-use plastic. When they got in touch to ask for some samples I knew immediately I wanted to support them. What a lovely idea especially given their age. I've asked them to write a guest blog for me which they did... please read yourself below.
We're Amy and Ella Meek, two girls, aged 13 and 11, who are on a mission to raise awareness about the issue of single-use plastic.
Our desire to make a positive change started when we began studying the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development about a year ago. We have always loved the environment but never really thought to do anything until recently. The Global Goals – 17 world goals brought together by the UN, which 193 world leaders have pledged to try to achieve by 2030 – encourage you to not only learn about the issues but take action on them, which is exactly what we are doing.
The goals cover various topics but its main aims are to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality and tackle climate change. When we researched the goals, particularly goal 14 – Life Below Water – we discovered the devastating effects that plastic has on the ocean. It was then that we knew we had to take action; that was when we started our campaign against single-use plastic beverage items, particularly plastic bottles.
We named our campaign Kids Against Plastic because we wanted to empower kids and show them that they can make a difference.
Since then, we have been travelling around the country picking up litter and talking at festivals accompanied by our Water Table (an interactive display of information and games that aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding plastic and promote non-plastic alternatives to plastic bottles of water and other single-use items).
We have focused on plastic bottes of water in particular because they are unnecessary; anyone in the UK can fill up a reusable bottle – it saves money and the environment. We also think that items like straws, bags, lids and cups are extremely bad for the environment, especially since they are only used for a short period of time before being disposed of, and should be replaced with reusable alternatives. We always encourage people to #refuse4good; we want people to refuse the “big 4 plastic polluters” (coffee cup lids, straws, bags and plastic bottles).
So far we 've picked up over 18,000 plastic beverage items with the help of others. We are aiming to pick up 100,000, one for every sea mammal killed by plastic every year. We have over 5,000 signatures for our petition to get bottled water alternatives onto supermarket shelves in the UK.
During the summer of 2017, we will be touring around the UK with eXXpedition (www.exxpedition.com) a group of women raising awareness of the amount of plastic entering the oceans and its effect on the human body. But until then, we will continue to educate and inspire the public to do their bit.
For info on reusable non plastic water bottles and glass straws please check out our eco shop www.afinechoice.co.uk