Life Beyond Plastic. Youth mobilization and implementation of good practices to reduce plastic pollution in the seas
Oceans and seas cover more than three-quarters of our planet and are a fundamental asset for human life: they host many forms of life, have a decisive influence on the climate, are an important source of food, economic prosperity, social and cultural well-being. But all this is in danger: every year between 5 and 13 million tons of plastic end up in seas all over the world, causing invaluable damage to animals and ecosystems. At this rate, by 2050, in terms of weight, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. Marine pollution is increasingly becoming the face of a real global emergency. Life Beyond Plastic will involve young Italians in a process of action and awareness to reduce, recycle and reuse plastic waste. An initiative spread in different parts of Italy thanks to the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and a network of 11 partners.
It doesn't matter if you live in the city or in the mountains: the plastic, in any case, reaches the coasts.
Italy is first in Europe and among the first in the world for the consumption of plastic bottles: every day Italians use 32 million bottles of mineral water. It is essential to take action immediately: because it is not too late yet. For this reason, we have put together associations, companies, public and private bodies from 7 Italian regions with the aim of facing this global emergency together.
Reducing the consumption of one-use plastics, increasing the share of waste recycling and promoting a rapid transition to circular economy systems are more urgent than ever. The project focuses on young people, protagonists of a growing global movement, as key players to urge governments and companies to adopt sustainable production and consumption models.
The initiative involves Trentino, Lombardy, Liguria, Marche, Campania, Calabria and Sicily in activities in line with the Goal 14 of Agenda 2030. Throughout the implementation, the project will offer workshops for 2,000 children and training courses for 120 teachers on the theme of marine litter, in order to provide the educational tools needed to address the topic in the classrooms. Our goal is to create a network of "plastic free" schools and a network of 180 young activists committed to their territory's sustainability. We also want to reach young people, families and citizens outside the school context: an awareness campaign on the web, 12 public events and 3 large interactive art installations will challenge the public to get involved and change their purchasing and consumption choices.
Not only that: the project also calls on public bodies and private companies to respond to the problem and to initiate routes to reduce the use of plastic within their own structures and activities. The results relating to the economic and environmental advantages deriving from these experiences will be disseminated through moments of exchange and comparison, so as to invite other stakeholders to replicate the experience.
The project is actualized thanks to the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and in collaboration with Caretta Calabria Conservation, Municipality of Milan, Cooperative Demetra Onlus, HelpCode Italy, Engineering Without Borders Milan, Mani Tese Campania, Mani Tese Sicily, Mondadori Scienza Spa - Focus magazine, MUSE - Trento Science Museum, University of Milan ‐ Bicocca.
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