More young people around the world will be able to join the fight against plastic pollution after the UK Government announced an extension of a global Scout and Girl Guides badge. The scheme works to create the next generation of international leaders to protect our oceans.
The badge not only encourages young people to take action to reduce plastic waste in their own lives, but also helps them become leaders in their communities.
Overseen by UN Environment, the badge is being supported by partners at the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
International Marine Minister Zac Goldsmith said: “The UK is already committed to leaving the environment in a better state for the next generation, which is why it’s so important that we inspire a new generation of leaders to change behaviour towards single-use plastics.
“The extension of the Tide Turners Challenge Badge will help nurture these leaders in more countries around the world as we all work to turn the tide on single-use plastic in our ocean.”
The extension of the badge will see it reach nearly 300,000 young people in countries around the world, including Belize where the Commonwealth Litter Programme conference is currently taking place.
This builds on the work that the World Organisation of the Scout Movement is already doing as part of its A Million Hands programme which gives young people the chance to take action on issues they care about.
Platform to lead
Susan Gardner, Director of the Ecosystems Division from the United Nations Environment Programme, said: “Harnessing the energy and brilliance of youth is one of the best solutions we have in the fight against the super-sized plastic pollution crisis that we face.
"We are delighted to have the support of the UK and the Scouts, Guides and Junior Achievement to scale-up the Plastic Tide Turners badge.”
Hany Abdulmonem, Global Director of Scouting Development, said: “The Challenge badge is a strong contribution to Scouting’s environmental programming and our ongoing youth-led effort to engage young people in making our communities and planet more sustainable.”
Sarah Nancollas, Chief Executive of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, said: “Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world are calling for action to protect their planet and shape a sustainable future.
"The extension of the Tide Turner Challenge badge will give even more girls the platform to lead, speak out and take action in the fight against plastic pollution.”
The announcement is the latest step in the UK Government’s ongoing fight against plastic both at home and abroad.
This article is based on a press release from Defra.