UNEP, UK Launch Plastic Challenge Badge for Girl Guides and Scouts
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The Badge curriculum will first focus on youth groups and schools in Kenya, reaching an estimated 50,000 young people.

In future months, the initiative is expected to expand to empower millions of young people to tackle plastic pollution.

The UK Government has provided US$50,000 in funding for the initial project.

30 August 2018: UK Prime Minister Theresa May and UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) Executive Director Erik Solheim launched a Plastic Challenge Badge for Girl Guides and Scouts at the UN offices in Nairobi, Kenya. The Plastic Challenge Badge aims to promote education and action on reducing plastic consumption and kick-starting behavior change through hands-on environmental stewardship.

The Badge curriculum will first focus on youth groups and schools in Kenya, reaching an estimated 50,000 young people. In future months, the initiative is expected to expand to empower millions of young people to tackle plastic pollution.

Solheim praised the Plastic Challenge Badge in his remarks at the launch. He emphasized that the partnership with the UK Government and Guides and Scouts will not just fight plastic pollution but also contribute to investing “in the young minds that will preserve the planet for future generations to come.”

The partnership will contribute to investing “in the young minds that will preserve the planet for future generations to come.”

The UK Government has provided US$50,000 in funding for the initial project, including support for an exchange programme to connect Guides and Scouts from Kenya and the UK and for the creation of a resource pack to support UK Scouts to take increased action on plastic pollution. The challenge is organized into three sections: understanding plastic; protecting the environment; and making a change.

The announcement is part of the UK Government’s broader efforts to tackle single-use plastic. In April, the UK Government announced the establishment of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance to eliminate single use plastic and address marine plastic pollution. The Alliance aims to drive action on SDG 14 (life below water) and to encourage other Commonwealth countries to sign up to and implement international agreements to protect the ocean.

UNEP and World Scouting renewed their global partnership for the environment in February 2018. Challenge Badges aim to raise youth’s awareness and educate and motivate them to change their behavior and become active agents of change in their local community. [UNEP Press Release] [Plastic Free Planet Challenge Badge Website]

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