March 22, 2021
On March 22, 2021, Wendela Sandberg joined us from Amsterdam to discuss with us the End Plastic Soup campaign. Wendela has been a member of Amsterdam Rotary for 26 years and has a degree in music and marketing.
Today we produce 1275 kilos (2811 pounds) of plastic per person in the world. With 7 billion people in the world, that is a considerable amount. Plastic doesn’t go away; it doesn’t disappear; it only gets broken down into ‘microplastics’. Garbage dumped into most rivers in the world result in the plastic and other contaminants eventually finding its way into the ocean where it gets absorbed into the plankton and microbe population, the basic forms of life. This then follows up the food chain until it reaches us.
There are five enormous garbage islands in our world’s oceans. The eastern garbage patch off the west coast of the United States is a debris field two-times the size of Texas (three-times the size of France) and is five meters deep.
End Plastic Soup is a movement that has been championed as Rotary International’s seventh area of focus, the Environment. So far, it has support from 3500 Rotarians of 1200 Rotary and Rotaract Clubs with 74 Ambassador Clubs in 43 countries.
End Plastic Soup’s goal: By 2050, there will be no more plastic soup in the oceans and seas, no more plastic wastes in our lakes, rivers, forests, parks, and streets.
Their objective: to get support from 1000 Rotary Clubs every year and offer a common knowledge platform. To get 100,000 Rotarians to use less plastic, use no single-use plastics and educate 100,000 children each year. Also to create plastic-free Rotary events and accelerate solutions across the full plastic lifestyle: Reduce, redesign, reuse, and recycle. At present, only 9% of all plastics are recycled.
At present, several actions have been created to assist in preventing plastics from going into the oceans. Inventions such as the Interceptor, the Bubble Barrier, and litter traps scoop plastics and trash from the outlets of lakes and rivers to prevent it from flowing into our seas. Using CollectiX cleanup technology and trailer fishing nets pull garbage from the water.
Awareness actions are taking place. June 5 is World Environmental Day and Rotary End Plastic Soup Action Day. September 18 is World Cleanup day.
Rotary Clubs can take action in numerous ways: Getting education of the situation to our schools as well as support students and school projects. Host and support Plastic-Free events and find alternative materials and packaging. Contact with the plastics industry. Support End Plastic Soup Project.
Wendela has offered us a challenge: put yourself on a ‘plastic diet’. Don’t buy anything that comes in a plastic container from the grocery store for the next week.
Thank you Wendela for a fascinating presentation and a worthwhile cause!
The Child Abuse Prevention Hotline is 800-207-4464 and locally 714-940-1000