Most plastic does not get recycled:
We have a two-pronged solution. The first prong is to educate and encourage people to stop using single-use plastic and promote alternatives. We do this by speaking with youth organizations and sharing articles, statistics, and photographs showing the environmental impact of single-use plastic. We also persuade restaurants, hotels, and other industries that rely on tourism to reduce their use of plastics. And lastly, we encourage consumers to “use their wallet” to pressure companies to switch to biodegradable products and packaging.
The second prong is to replicate a successful model used in a small coastal town in Guerrero, Mexico where they created their own plastic recycling program called the Azulita Project to save their beaches and rivers.
First the organizers tried to get the adults to pick up the trash, but they had no interest/time. They realized they had to start with the kids. They incentivized them by creating a soccer team because they had none. The kids agreed to pick up plastic in order to participate. As a result, they learned to protect the environment. They sold the plastic to a manufacturing partner and purchased soccer gear and built a soccer field. The program became so popular that it grew to neighboring towns, and there are now ten communities participating in plastic cleanup in the region!
We hope to replicate this model in areas of the world with no viable recycling programs, our first site is in South Africa with the Litter 4 Tokens program. Their aim is to instill pride in the community by encouraging hard work, and in turn, help feed and clothe the community. Litter 4 Tokens was launched in 2015 by Clare Swithenbank-Bowman at one school in Ballito, South Africa. It has since grown to six schools, and we plan to help Litter 4 Tokens expand to other cities in South Africa.
Shell Cleave is the Founder of Sea Hugger. She is a surfer, SUPer, Scuba Diver, and life-long trash picker-upper. She lives in Half Moon Bay, CA with her family and works to protect the ocean from plastic.
Shell is available for speaking engagements, please inquire at: email@example.com