«

HOPE – Hands On Plastic Environment

HOPE is an Erasmus + funded project which includes partners from six countries: UK, Poland, Slovak Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, who passionately work to raise awareness about ecological and green issues and organise diverse presentations of plastic in the environment. The project aims to increase people’s understanding about plastic, waste depositing and how this specific non-biodegradable material became one of the major pollutants on Earth. We regard this issue as one of the major tasks today in preventing the almost inevitable future disaster, which would be irreversible if we do not act in time.

 

The project HOPE – Hands On Plastic Environment – has an explicit meaning in its title. We HOPE to change the trend of dumping plastic litter in the environment and we KNOW that supporting the environment means also supporting our health and well-being.

In the last century, plastic materials made revolutionary changes in industry, medicine, food and communication, and today, our life could not be imagined without plastic. This is especially important to focus on in all countries and areas where the food industry, energy and production of reusable and non-reusable containers, plastic packaging, bags and items from everyday use is mass-consumed and would not be the same in different wrapping, e.g. water bottles. The aim is to reach thousands of people across Europe and through digital media in order to raise awareness, share more information and help the global issue of plastic in the environment. Different countries have diverse approaches to this issue, collection, obliteration or recycling plastic in local environments.  These measures would help to reduce waste and minimise damage to natural, maritime, urban and rural habitats. There are differences in how people are thought about the environment. We try to bridge the differences by user-friendly presentations and informal multidisciplinary learning implemented through direct experience. To be fair, all countries today apply some measures like recycling, reusing or transforming plastic and other refuse into different materials or energy. This is certainly a positive action, but the accumulation of plastic is still much larger and is overpowering these methods. We also recognise that plastic creates a political issue and different countries use that as an economic benefit. Media is the major channel of information. People communicate through digital mobile devices, social media and watch TV, which keep global population connected. This is an important aspect of dissemination of information. Young people use digital communication “to show the things” to their friends and network and if we create the information more attractive, the results of spreading the word would be amplified. Many people are compassionate and more perceptive to the suffering of living beings, especially in rural areas and among the tribal people. More awareness is being generated amongst the urban and better-educated population. The balance is to take both groups views and try to use their “knowledge” to fight further degradation.

                                        

At Western Riverside Waste Authority – WRWA London

Plastic is one of the hottest topics today globally. The HOPE partnership organises events in constituent countries and it wishes to integrate and implement new learning elements in activities and presentations, such as  3D, films, exhibitions which accompany talks and debates with the experts. This is an important aspect of our activities because it gives us credibility in organising, managing and delivering national and international projects. Do we only talk about human race? No, more than that, we plan to talk about everything that may bring changes in the life of local communities as well as wildlife, and it includes talks by motivated professionals.  We plan structured talks, from the origin of plastic materials from crude oil, the process of making plastic, use of products, recycling, waste hierarchy and reuse of plastic, harmful plastic and how to make plastic biodegradable. We also focus on ecological issue and plastic in the natural environment, which creates massive pollution in the sea, also in the air, soil and urban and rural environment. We also discuss which measures we can apply in order to stop harming nature generally, especially marine life, animals and humans. We talk about planet Earth, as our home which is ready to fight human negligence, lack of understanding of the fine links which connect us all and play a major role in life and death cycles. As we all know, people are the main damaging parties in this equation and the remedy is to provide better information, education, knowledge and change of attitude from the whole population, irrespective of their educational, socio-economic situation. The life on Earth deserves to be protected and saved for the generations to come.

Our challenge is to reach out wider and to involve the diverse communities to implement a new understanding about plastic in their own life and to share it with the local people. The principal supporters of the project could be community organisations, schools, public libraries, local authorities, educational or business organisations, media and professionals.

The themes of talks:

The Beginnings: from crude oil to plastic, plastic type evolution, research, bad and good plastic, facts and figures . The Invasion: consumerism, global pollution, environmental hazard.  Fighting plastic global disaster: civic and public awareness campaigns, education, eco-art, volunteering.   Waste destinations: 3Rs (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse), circular economy, from trash to treasures, from plastic to oil.