Scouts in Japan bust plastic out of their country
In 2019, The Plastic Waste Makers Index found out that in a year, every single person in Japan produces an approximate of 37 kilograms of single-use plastic waste. This plastic waste does not just stay on land, it can creep up to the coasts of the country.
As a response to this problem, the Scout Association of Japan, in partnership with Seven Eleven Japan group, launched the project called Plagomi Busters (Plastic Trash Busters) to mobilize their Scouts from Cubs to Rovers to fight against plastic waste.
The project started in July 2022 as part of the celebration of 100 years of Scouting in Japan. Participants who want to join can download the Pirika app, which marks them as participants and can track the litter they pick up. As of writing, 31,426 Scouts all over Japan have joined to become Plastic Trash Busters, picking around 898,380 pieces of litter! The project will end on 7 November 2022.
Aside from picking up plastic garbage, collected PET bottle caps from all over Japan will be upcycled to create recyclable bags called SDGs (from Sustainable Development Goals) bags and dustbins.
Mr. Yorimasa Matsudaira of Scout Association of Japan and chairman of the APR Social Impact Sub-Committee mentioned that they will report the project at the upcoming EcoPro2022 in Tokyo on 7-9 December 2022 which they expect to inspire participants of the event and move away from single-use plastics.
The activity also promotes the environment-related programmes and initiatives of the World Organization of the Scout Movement such as Scouts for SDGs, Messengers of Peace, and Earth Tribe. These kinds of projects create impact to the world by taking young people to act on issues that affect them not just at present but also of their future.
Efforts around the Region
Many Scouts across the Asia-Pacific Region are driven towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Recently, a local Scout group in the Philippines partnered with their city government to help clean the coastlines towards trash-free seas.
Scouts in Ormoc City, Pes pickinhilipping up trash near the city’s seawall
Earlier this month, Pakistan Scouts also took the lead and taught young children on how to recycle and upcycle single-use plastics especially PET bottles into beautiful and usable decorations like wall organizers, table lamp, and pencil holders.
Scouts creating a table lamp out of PET bottles
Moving forward from the small household items, these Scouts also went to make furniture out of recyclable PET bottles!
Chairs, table, and a small coffee table made out of materials from PET bottles
Moving to Malaysia, a Scout group is seeking donations to help them clean up a river that affected their city. In December 2021, Shah Alam District in Selangor got surprised by a flashflood that affected over 125,000 people in the area. This caused terrible distress to the residents. However, for Affi Danial’s group, this sparked their cause to help clean the rivers in Selangor.