Unesco Green Citizens

Kids Against Plastic

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Project begin: 01/01/2016

Two sisters, Amy and Ella, are fighting for positive change, through the leadership of climate action to find a solution to the plastic problem. Their final goal is to reach out to governments around the world, through the voice of young people. It’s inspiring!
Amy and Ella were inspired by the relaunching of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and wanted to do their bit. They chose 3 Goals: Life Below Water, Climate Action and Responsible Consumption. When researching the three goals they saw plastic pollution as a common thread and began their on-the-ground activism. In 2016, Kids Against Plastic was born and is still ongoing today.

As they have developed KAP, they have become increasingly motivated to empower other young people to find their ‘voices’ and believe they too can become activists for positive change. Amy’s Youth Empowerment Scheme and Ella’s KAP Club share resources to young people in the hope that they will find them engaging and empowering through its Plastic Clever initiative. The charity’s goal is to encourage a better perception of single-use plastic as well as empowerment of young people taking action for what they believe in. They also work with businesses, individuals, schools and cafes to deplete their use of the Big 4 and swap in reusable items and encourage crowd/social science through their litter logging app.

Leading organisation: Kids Against Plastic
Covered Countries: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Theme: Biodiversity, Education for Sustainable Development
Sub-themes: Knowledge sharing, Natural resource management, Sustainable lifestyles, Waste management
Tag: #Youth
Selection: 2020
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Project needs
Communication strategy design
Partnerships development
Press relations
Social Media
Sponsorship/ Philanthropy
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Initial Problem

Amy and Ella saw how plastic pollution impact oceans and waterways not only in places far from their home but also in their local town of Gelding Borrow. The girls were inspired by the relaunching of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and wanted to do their bit. They chose 3 Goals: Life Below Water, Climate Action and Responsible Consumption to find solutions to the plastic problem.

The positive impacts that the project has made

Through the years, KAP was able to make a certain difference:

– More than 100,000 pieces of plastic litter picked up every year: one for every mammal killed in the ocean because of plastic.

– Over 900 schools and over 50 cafes and businesses signed up to the Plastic Clever scheme, as well as their local council, Gedling Borough Council.

– Over 50 young people are members of the KAP team, supported and motivated to take action in their local area against plastic pollution.

– Kids Against Plastic picked up over 79,000 pieces of plastic litter (as of August 2020)

– Amy and Ella have spoken at events around the world to spread awareness of plastic pollution, including the Young Activists Summit at the UN Geneva, TEDx Exeter, the Welsh, Scottish and English parliaments, as well as countless conferences, schools and festivals.

– Over 28,000 pieces of litter logged on their litter collection app, generating data on litter patterns around the world through citizen/social science.

The impacted areas and population

– More than 100,000 pieces of plastic litter picked up every year: one for every mammal killed in the ocean because of plastic.

– Over 900 schools and over 50 cafes and businesses signed up to the Plastic Clever scheme, as well as their local council Gedling Borough Council.

– Over 50 young people are members of the KAP team, supported and motivated to take action in their local area against plastic pollution.

– Kids Against Plastic picked up over 79,000 pieces of plastic litter (as of August 2020)

– Amy and Ella have spoken at events around the world to spread awareness of plastic pollution, including the Young Activists Summit at the UN Geneva, TEDx Exeter, the Welsh, Scottish and English parliaments, as well as countless conferences, schools and festivals.

– Over 28,000 pieces of litter logged on their litter collection app, generating data on litter patterns around the world through citizen/social science.

The obstacles and challenges

One of the largest challenges faced by the charity was dividing time between school/work as it is family-run. With both Amy and Ella in full-time education and their parents working as teachers, this meant it was hard to give enough time to the project and develop the initiative. Initially, during the founding of Kids Against Plastic, the family was traveling around the UK and Europe, homeschooling Amy and Ella. Since returning back to ‘normal’ life, however, time management has been a restriction on the work achieved through Kids Against Plastic.

Tim Meek (father of Amy and Ella, and chair of the charity trustees) now works part-time as a teacher and dedicates the remaining days to work on Kids Against Plastic. Amy and Ella also work with full commitment to the charity outside of school.

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