The Tide Turner Plastic challenge is an initiative engaging young people from across India to address the issue of plastic pollution threatening life in oceans, rivers and on land. The initiative seeks to educate young individuals on single-use plastics leading to action that will reduce land and marine plastic pollution. It also aims to motivate youth to alter behaviour and norms around plastic usage at both individual and community levels.
The Tide Turners Plastic Challenge Badge was introduced to India on June 4th after a successful run in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Mauritius as a part of UN Environment’s Clean Seas Campaign. India generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste each day. The Government of India has pledged to work towards making the country single-use plastic-free by 2022. This calls for a massive effort from the government, private sector industry, and civil society.
UNEP has been working with the Scouts, the Guides, Junior Achievement and University students across various African countries and India with the aim of mobilizing thousands of young people to participate in the fight against plastic pollution and marine litter. The programme is set to expand to 16 different countries later this year.
How does the Challenge work?
The Challenge follows a three-tiered structure, the entry-level entails participants auditing their plastic footprint, understanding the issue and taking small steps to spread awareness.
At the leader level, individuals will influence and mobilize their peers, institutions or communities for collaborative action.
At the champion level, students will initiate dialogues with authorities at schools, colleges, corporates, and businesses and advocate the practices to mitigate plastic pollution through policies on reducing the use of disposable plastic on their premises.
Building knowledge and understanding around single-use plastic
Promoting action by individuals and communities to facilitate change
Influencing local stakeholders through the advocacy of sustainable practices
WWF India and CEE (Centre for Environment Education- Ahmedabad) have been the main implementing partners during the pilot phase.