For us, our desire to make a positive change began when we began studying the UN Global Goals about a year ago. We were being homeschooled by our parents and, being children who have always cared for the environment and the world we live in, they thought it was a fitting topic to work on.
How Kids Against Plastic began
In case you don’t know, the Global Goals consist of 17 world goals, brought together by the UN, which 192 world leader have pledged to try and achieve by the year 2030. The goals consist of things like ending poverty, fighting inequality and tackling climate change.
It was looking into these goals, in particular number 14: Life Below Water, that we came across plastic, and how it effects the environment. To be honest, we were shocked by what we discovered – we had no clue that the plastic bottles we used regularly would be around on the planet forever. Delving deeper, we discover the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling mass of plastic caught in one of the ocean gyres (natural currents caused by the Earth’s rotation). We found out about the issues with the recycling of plastic bottles, and how very little of them are actually made into new things, and also about the thousands of microbeads that make up the shampoo and body scrubs and toothpaste we use everyday.
But what shocked us more than all this information we read about, was that despite all of the negative effects plastic bottles and other plastic items have on that planet, any environmentally conscious consumers wanting to purchase packaged water from shops and supermarkets are not even given the option to make eco-friendly choices.
That’s when we founded our campaign, Kids Against Plastic. I think our parents were a little surprised when we announced our goal of getting the UK supermarkets to stock non-plastic packaged water alternatives on their shelves, and single-use plastic bottles off them. It was a big goal, but we were determined – and still are – that we could and would make it happen. We chose plastic bottles as our target, as they’re practically unnecessary in the UK, and there are alternatives to them out there.
And that brings us to now – a year later, we’ve picked up over 17,000 pieces of plastic beverage litter, had over 5,000 signatures on our petition to the supermarkets to stock non-plastic alternatives and made a festival plastic-clever. It’s been amazing, and there’s something really rewarding about knowing you’re making a difference.
We may only be kids, after all, and we may not have over two decades of experience behind us, but we think that children have the loudest voice.