Innovative Kid’s Plastics Reduction Program Debuts
Grassroots Environmental Education, a New York-based environmental health non-profit, is joining the global effort to address the plastics crisis with a new program called PUPS - "Picking Up Plastic Stuff." The program, on the web at PUPS123.org, helps kids learn about the worldwide plastics problem, encourages them to help reduce pollution by collecting single-use plastics before they enter surrounding surface waters or degrade into microplastics, and bring attention to the problem by posting short videos of their efforts on social media. A prize of $250 is being offered for videos with the best creative content and social messaging.
"Single use plastic pollution has moved from a litter problem to an existential issue for every living thing on our planet, from health concerns about the chemicals used in plastic to the microplastics now widespread in our air, our water and food," says Grassroots Executive Director Patti Wood, creator of the PUPS program. "Recent research confirms that microplastics are being found in our blood and lung tissue, and the consequences of this disturbing discovery are yet unknown."
Despite claims by manufacturers and industry, most plastic is not recyclable. A recent report from the U. S. Department of Energy showed less than 5% of plastics going into the recycling stream are actually recycled. The goal of PUPS is to encourage food and beverage companies to stop using single-use plastic packaging by substituting non-plastic alternatives and investing in programs that utilize fully biodegradable or reusable containers.
PUPS kits, consisting of a pair of brown cotton gloves printed with the PUPS logo, a sturdy paper bag with woven handles and a brightly colored decal with instructions for collection are available through the website.
The PUPS program is perfect for schools, scout groups, community organizations, religious institutions, families and anyone else interested in helping to reduce the worldwide plastic pollution problem. More info at www.PUPS123.org