The Plastic Tide Turners Challenge (PTTC) is a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) led-initiative that educates young people around the world about plastic pollution, giving them the tools to change their personal behaviour, inspire their communities, and create a better future for people and planet. It was created as part of the wider Youth & United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) UN Challenge Badge Series of which we are key part.
Through the Challenge, young people can develop their leadership skills and make an impact on issues that matter, from cutting back on the use of single-use plastic to recycling more effectively. This initiative also puts young people at the centre of tackling plastic pollution, encouraging them to realise that they can make a huge difference in the world.
Pictured on the right: Girl Guides from the Uganda Girl Guide Association with baskets they have woven from waste single-use plastic.
The difference we have made so far:
As one of three PTTC delivery partners alongside JA Worldwide and the Scouts, we have been working with 11 of our Member Organisations, across 10 countries (Nigeria, Uganda, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Gambia, Madagascar, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Kenya) to support them to deliver the three levels of the Plastic Tide Turners Challenge: entry level, leader level and champion level, plus an additional hero level that's focused on advocacy and called 'Wave Makers’ .
The Wave Makers level involved two weeks of intensive advocacy training with each participant training four of their peers to join them - part of our peer to peer training model.
We now have more than 2000 PTTC Advocacy Champions who are carrying out their own advocacy projects. They will mobilise thousands of other young changemakers to influence consumers, business and governments to put an end to plastic pollution.
“Ellyanne, is one of the girls I really respect. She inspired me to do the things she did as a young environmentalist and proved to me that young people do have the power. We do not have to wait for our local authorities or a high-powered individual to improve things. Instead, she made me recognise that I can start making changes myself and that we all have the ability to do so. I feel inspired to begin my journey as a plastic Tide Turner.” --- Nik, Girl Guide, Malaysia
After completing the PTTC and Wave Makers training from WAGGGS, Murielle, from Fanilon’i Madagasikara (Girl Scouts of Madagascar), decided to create an association called “HARP- Helping Ambohidratrimo by Recycling Plastics”.
Her remarkable journey to success began with her creating a network of young people committed to this cause by organising regular meetings to raise awareness on the topic. Within the span of just a few months HARP became a movement of young activists and is currently followed by 1800 people on Facebook alone without boost or promotion!
It is clear that big changes can be brought about by initiatives which put young people at the centre of tackling plastic pollution, encouraging them to realise that they can make a huge difference in the world!
"The training was so fun. I got to break my boundaries and challenge myself to speak up more confidently in front of others. It was the perfect training to help us kickstart our advocacy project to stop retailors using single-use plastic bags." -- Aisyah, Girl Guide, Malaysia
Tell us how you’re taking action
If you are taking action related to the Plastic Tide Turners Challenge, please use the hashtags below and contact Rojo (Rojo.Andriamahery@wagggs.org) and we will do our best to celebrate your successes and amplify your activity on our social media.