Young people urged to join plastic pollution eradication initiatives

Plastic waste. [iStockphoto]

Young people have been urged to embrace initiatives that aim at eradicating plastic pollution. 

United Kingdom Minister for Nature, Rebecca Pow said that it is through the involvement of the youth that the global vision to end the plastic pollution crisis by 2040 can be achieved. 

She noted that individual countries will also leverage young people's efforts on the ground for effective implementation of an upcoming international plastics treaty.

"We have to make laws and regulations to direct the direction of travel, but we also have to do things on the ground and that's why we have to meet people who are doing projects on the environment," she said. 

The UK lawmaker said: "That link back to the ground level with people working on the ground demonstrating that people want to get rid of plastic will actually help inform us in making this treaty." 

Pow spoke on Friday when she joined the local environment agency (NEMA) and Nairobi county government as well as groups of scouts and guides under the Tide Turners project during the Nairobi River clean-up exercise.

This was one of the side events of the UNEA-6 summit that ended Friday.

"What we have agreed is how we are going to tackle those things globally because we can all do things individually in our countries, that's really important, but to really get the change we need to basically save the planet we have to do it together," she stated.

The Tide Turners scheme launched in 2018, she said, has progressed with thousands of young people having signed up for the scheme.  

"What is great about the scheme is it helps with educating people, the young people themselves doing the project but they are educating other young people why they have to tackle plastic pollution, why need to reduce the amount of harmful plastic  

According to the UK Minister, 50 countries are now running this game, lots from the African continent and they have taken out of rivers 130 million tons of plastic.

She disclosed that the UK government will support such initiatives to address climate change, biodiversity and pollution crises.   

"What we have agreed is how we are going to tackle those things globally because we can all do things individually in our countries, that's really important, but to really get the change we need to basically save the planet, we have  to do it together," 

"The UK government has put money into this project. We are really pleased to work with Kenya,"

UN Environment Programme deputy director, Bruno Pozzi underscored the need to bring stakeholders together towards the realisation of the eradicating plastic solution and promoting a greening agenda. 

"We need to mobilise a number of associations, youths, local authorities, communities, civil societies and organisations to get rid of harmful plastics," he said. 

By AFP 20 hrs ago
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