Fifty young U-reporters trained in the sustainable management and recovery of plastic waste
Reduce, reuse and recycle: new trend on U-reporters
Plastic pollution has become one of the major environmental crises of the century, with devastating effects on biodiversity and public health. Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic are produced around the world, most of which ends up in our waste and surrounding ecosystems. Only 9% of plastics in the world are recycled, making it essential to take concrete action.
During Environment Week in Gabon, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the One Forest Youth Initiative and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, organised a training seminar for 50 U-reporters on the sustainable management and recovery of plastic waste. This initiative, the first of its kind in Gabon, is in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production. The aim of the seminar is to build the capacity of young people to preserve the planet, and to encourage them to play an active part in waste management and the promotion of environmentally friendly economic activities. Noel Zagre, the UNICEF Representative in Gabon, sees the training as an opportunity for young people to become climate responsible. This is one of UNICEF's mandates.
For three days, the fifty young people aged between 15 and 30 learned about the environmental, social, and economic issues involved in managing plastic waste.
The training included interactive and practical sessions focusing on the collection, sorting, recycling, and recovery of plastic waste. Participants gained an in-depth understanding of the importance of sustainable waste management, as well as the economic opportunities and best practices in this field. The training was led in conjunction with REVADAC, the leading recycling company in Gabon.
The young people were also able to find out more about the plastic processing industry. In just a few hours, they produced prototypes of recycled products.
Juricia Keckya THERE MFOUME, a young UREPORTER, tells us about her experience of the training: "The training was interesting and very instructive. Environmental education is very important, and it shouldn't be neglected. It shouldn't be reserved for one social class or one group of people. It's important for young people to be educated about environmental issues and opportunities. As young people, at this point in history, as we are experiencing the impact of climate change, we need to take an interest in our environment. We need to protect it for ourselves and for the next generation."
This training has allowed us to identify the exciting next steps for the UREPORTERS. They will go into schools and teach children about the importance of the environment, how to protect it and how to recycle plastic.