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Environment Think Tank Launches Tide Turners App to Engage Youth in the Fight Against Plastic Pollution

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The ISLANDS program, known as Implementing Sustainable Low and Non-Chemical Development in Small Island Developing States, is calling on young climate activists to join the fight against plastic pollution. In a bid to turn the tide on this global crisis, the program has launched a new app, targeting over 100,000 young people worldwide.Plastic, one of the most versatile materials ever produced, has brought significant convenience to our lives, revolutionizing packaging, travel, and more. However, this convenience comes at a great cost.

the Tide Turners initiative has been implemented in 35 countries, reaching over 588,000 young people.

More than two-thirds of the plastic produced annually is used in disposable products that quickly end up as waste. The annual social and environmental toll is estimated to be as high as $1.5 trillion, with nearly 11 million metric tons of plastic entering the oceans each year. The world’s seas are now believed to be polluted with over 171 trillion pieces of plastic.

Without urgent action, these numbers are projected to triple by 2040. Microplastics, tiny particles of plastic, have infiltrated everything from clothing to breast milk. Additionally, the burning of plastics releases toxic persistent organic pollutants that contaminate water, soil, and food. The risks to human and environmental health are alarming.

Carlos Manuel Rodriquez, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the GEF, expressed his enthusiasm for the Tide Turners Plastic Challenge

Ahead of World Environment Day on June 5th, the Tide Turners App is leveraging the success of the Tide Turners Plastic Challenge, which was part of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Clean Seas Campaign.

The new app encourages youth to contribute community-based solutions to prevent plastic pollution. Since its launch in February 2019, the Tide Turners initiative has been implemented in 35 countries, reaching over 588,000 young people.

 

The ISLANDS program, funded by the Global Environment Facility, has transformed the original challenge into a social and gamified app, complete with a leaderboard and a platform for sharing stories. Users are encouraged to complete three challenges:

The app was developed in collaboration with young people from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and is primarily targeted at individuals aged 12 to 25,

Interview an adult about the changes they have witnessed regarding plastic pollution or create a piece of art envisioning a world without plastics. Keep a record of their own plastic consumption. Develop an Action Plan to put their newfound knowledge into practice.

The app was developed in collaboration with young people from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and is primarily targeted at individuals aged 12 to 25, with a particular focus on SIDS. In the Caribbean alone, children make up nearly 30 percent of the population.

Carlos Manuel Rodriquez, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the GEF, expressed his enthusiasm for the Tide Turners Plastic Challenge, emphasizing its potential for inspiring change. He highlighted the actionable information provided by the challenge, especially in island states where waste management is a significant problem both on land and at sea.

Globally, the program aims to reach more than 9 million individuals and prevent over 300,000 metric tons of marine litter.

The ISLANDS program is dedicated to assisting 33 SIDS in pursuing sustainable and low-chemical development pathways, including reducing plastic usage. With projects in the Caribbean and the Pacific, ISLANDS aims to engage over 100,000 young people in combating plastic pollution. Globally, the program aims to reach more than 9 million individuals and prevent over 300,000 metric tons of marine litter.

Speaking from the second meeting of the International Negotiating Committee (INC) in Paris, Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, Director of UNEP’s Industry and Economy Division, emphasized the importance of empowering young people in the fight against plastic pollution.

She stressed that this is a global challenge requiring the participation of everyone, but particularly the youth. The Tide Turners App puts young people in the driver’s seat, educating, connecting, and inspiring the next generation to protect our ecosystems, combat climate change, and safeguard our health.

By harnessing the power of technology and the passion of youth, the Tide Turners App offers a promising solution to the plastic pollution crisis, empowering young activists worldwide to make a tangible difference in their communities and beyond.

Wasim Qadri
Wasim Qadrihttp://wasimqadriblog.wordpress.com/
Islamabad based Senior Journalist, TV Show Host, Media Trainer, can be follow on twitter @jaranwaliya

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