New Delhi, 26th November 2019- The school champions for Tide Turner Campaign were announced today amidst a large gathering of cheering school children and academics at the WWF-India auditorium.
The Tide Turner Plastic challenge is an initiative engaging youth across the country 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 them to alter behaviour and norms around plastic usage at both individual and community levels.
The Tide Turners Plastic Challenge Badge was introduced in India on June 4th after a successful run in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Mauritius as a part of UNEP’s Clean Seas Campaign. India generates 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste each day. India has committed to abolishing the single-use plastic production by 2022. This calls for a massive effort from the government, private sector industry, and civil society.
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. From the 48,859 registrations 23, 065 participants were chosen for Level 1.
At the leader level, individuals will influence and mobilize their peers, institutions or communities for collaborative action. Here 4327 leaders were identified from the 23065 participants.
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. 1227 Champions have been identified to carry out this task. 2493 leaders were trained by the champions.
UNEP has been proud to have partnered with WWF India and CEE (Centre for Environment Education- Ahmedabad) who have been the main implementing partners during the pilot phase.
Speaking on the occasion
UNEP India Head Mr. Atul Bagai said
“It’s a matter of pride for UNEP to have worked closely with the student community in creating a buzz amongst educational institutions on the issue of single-use plastic through the Tide Turner challenge. In this limited time, the challenge has created influential supporters and leaders who will take forward this message. I would like to thank the students, academicians, and our partners WWF-India and CEE for their initiative, energy, and enthusiasm in making this campaign a success.”
Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary-General and CEO, WWF India, says
“The Tide Turner Plastic Campaign is a collective effort by WWF India, UNEP, CEE and young people across the country to create awareness about the detrimental effect of single-use plastic and the need to minimise its use in our everyday lives. The combined power and effort of like-minded individuals and organizations will help us find innovative solutions and practices for a sustainable and greener future. I wish these young and bright leaders all the best and will continue to support them in their efforts towards inspiring positive action for the planet.”
“The challenge of plastic pollution can only be dealt with the active participation of the youth. The Plastic Tide Turner has demonstrated an effective way of engaging youth and building leadership”, says Kartikeya Sarabhai, Founding Director, CEE.
Tide Turner Campaign successfully completed the pilot phase today
The pilot phase has already covered 247 schools across India
Key Objectives included- Creating awareness, promoting action, and influencing local stakeholders on the subject of the use of single-use plastics.