They’re the building blocks of any nation. The stronger they get, the more developed society becomes. We’re talking about Egyptian youth people! Amidst all the initiatives and the growing startups, today we bring you yet another enterprise that will surely blow your mind. A group of youngsters, grade 9 students at the British International School in Cairo (BISC) have decided to launch an impactful service that will perpetuate change in within their school community, and hopefully across the country. We give you, The Plastic Deed.
The Plastic Deed is an environmental service and unique awareness campaign that hopes to answer the questions that an everyday person may have about the environment. Looking to combat the issue of excessive plastic waste, the project is pioneered by seven students from BISC: Nevine Ghazi, Tamara Aboul Gheit, Tarek El Halaby, Abdelrahman Said, Hadi El Hadi, Ravi Ramman, and Osama Abdel Hak.
Throughout their research process, the students looked for an idea that would engage their teachers, school mates, and community. Indeed, the students felt like most awareness campaigns tend to focus on providing information on everything that we, as human beings, are doing wrong to our environment. In other words, while most awareness campaigns shed light on correcting poor habits, these students became fascinated with why people have come to develop these poor habits towards the environment in the first place.
As such, the questions became “why don’t people don’t throw their items away appropriately?” and, “why don’t they recycle, why do people think it is okay to throw garbage in oceans and seas?” Yes, certainly people can be ignorant, but just as certainly, it must be something more than mere ignorance.
The students had two explanations in mind:
- It’s hard to adapt. Plastic is everywhere and is used in most things, so how is it realistic to ask people just to stop using it?
- It’s time to stop. People need to draw a causal link between their poor habits, the effect of those habits on the environment in general, their country, and loved ones.
Unlike other campaigns, they want to make people realise that yes; they do get it, it’s hard to change a lifestyle that you’ve been adopting for years, and that shifting your actions overnight can be extremely stressful! Think about it, zero waste initiatives have already exhausted many people, mainly because they do not seem to understand how difficult it is to kick certain habits. As such, zero waste initiatives have come to be perceived in somewhat of a negative light; the things they ask for are crazy, unrealistic, and just not doable.
With that balanced perspective in mind, the students decided to start small, within the bounds of their school, by crafting a small recycling system. Bins were accordingly constructed, specifically for the purpose of recycling plastic. The students will also sort through other bins, in search of plastic, as they know that some of the classmates would still dispose of plastic waste within the bins that are not designated for plastic.
Looking to have an even more significant impact, the students will take the plastic waste to Garbage City on a biweekly basis, in exchange for money. Additionally, they have devised a strategy that will reduce the amount of plastic that their mates use. Again, for this, the students are enlisting the help of Garbage City; the students are already in contact with a supplier who’s providing them with a sample of eco-friendly reusable bags, which, using the profit they will be making from selling the plastic waste, they plan to manufacture with the prints of designs created by some of the talented – yet underprivileged – children of Garbage City. The bags will then be sold at BISC to raise money for schools in Garbage City. The students are hoping that when their mates see the direct, positive impact of recycling plastic, whilst helping out members of underprivileged communities, they would accordingly begin to change their mindset. The students have also agreed on printing some bag samples with inspirational quotes and awareness on how to go waste-free.
Finally, to further endorse the issue, they are going to organise an event for middle school and high school students; the event will see a few key speakers who will discuss plastic pollution in Egypt and what’s being done about it.
Isn’t that cool and promising? Hit their Instagram account and show them some support, because ‘Saving the Planet One Bottle at a time’ still does matter!