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50,000 youths in Africa participate in Tide Turners Plastic Challenge
About 50,000 African youths out of total 225,000 youths from over 25 countries have participated in Tide Turners Plastic Challenge which was funded by the UK over the past two years.
More than 400 young Africans were honored for their leadership in addressing plastic pollution in their communities as part of the Tide Turners Plastic Challenge which takes the participants on a learning journey consisting of three different levels: entry, leader, and champion.
At a high-level event, political leaders, senior UN officials and Grammy-nominated Ghanaian musician Rocky Dawuni lauded the leadership shown by young people in global efforts to fight plastic pollution.
The African Youth Summit – Tide Turners Plastic Challenge acknowledged the role of more than 400 champions who have completed all three levels of the Tide Turners Plastic Challenge Badge. Participants in the Challenge have shown leadership by raising awareness through social media, championing plastic waste collection campaigns and demonstrating sustainability in their own lives, among other things.
More than 1,500 young people attended the summit, organized by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the World Organization of the Scout Movement and Junior Achievement Africa.
“As a former Girl Guide, I am very proud of Tide Turners and all the inspiring young people who are part of it; so far, more than 50,000 young people in 18 countries across Africa have joined this important program. Let’s continue this momentum, adding seven more countries to reach youth in nearly half of all African countries,” said Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP.
The Tide Turners Plastic Challenge Badge is the first ever Scout and Girl Guide Badge made from recycled plastic; the Challenge has been integrated into a new digital platform for World Scouting’s new environmental education initiative: Earth Tribe, which unites 54 million Scouts in a global youth movement for the environment, and offers young people the opportunity to learn and act on key environmental issues that are affecting their communities.
In 2021, organizers will be adding a new element to the badge which will focus on influencing policy and practice change.
Each year, more than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the oceans, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries, and tourism, and costing at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems. World production of plastic materials in 2018 was estimated at 359 million tonnes and by 2040, the amount of plastic going into oceans could triple.