It's #iwillweek 2018 and we're celebrating young people making positive social change and encouraging others to do the same! We recently heard the story of a young girl called Jessica who, with the help of her mum Julie, has taken some huge steps to tackle a problem she feels passionate about: plastic pollution and litter.
Jessica was heartbroken by the recent BBC Blue Planet series that highlighted the problem of litter and plastics in the rivers and seas. She wanted to make a difference so, for a school project, she created Bertie Bottle, a character that would help teach others about the importance of recycling. After presenting Bertie to her school, they introduced plastic recycling bins and the Bertie Bottle Campaign was born.
I created Bertie Bottle because of my concern about plastics that end up in the oceans and the problem litter causes to wildlife.
Jessica and her family decided to approach local businesses about the Campaign, asking them to make a pledge to combat the use of single-use plastics by reducing their use, providing replacements with sustainable alternatives, or no longer use plastic straws. Each company who joins the Campaign receives a personalised poster to be displayed in their business that lets their customers know what they have pledged to reduce.
Jessica and the Campaign hope that they can continue to raise the issue of litter and plastic pollution through adventure stories of Bertie Bottle and his friends.
Small steps really do make a big difference! Here's Jessica’s advice:
If you believe in yourself then you are one step closer to helping the environment. Get your family and friends involved; in just 10 minutes a group could complete a littler pick and make a big impact on their local community.