ASEZ WAO Conducts the No More GPGP Project in 12 Countries
No more plastic garbage islands!
COVID-19 hit the world and affected the environment. Coffee shops provided disposable containers and people ordered food for delivery. It all was to prevent the spread of the virus, but it rapidly increased plastic waste. Face masks, essential personal protective equipment, are made of polypropylene [PP], a complex plastic.
ASEZ WAO repeatedly conducts the No More GPGP (acronym for the Great Pacific garbage patch) project to reduce plastic waste. For two months, November and December 2020, it drew participation of more than 3,200 members in twelve countries in plastic cleanups.
The members collected over 276,000 pieces of plastic (weighed 12 tonnes) in many places around the world such as East Coast Park in Singapore, Blue Lagoon Beach in South Africa, and Avondale Road in Christchurch, New Zealand on holidays.
They carried out the project, complying with the quarantine guidelines like wearing face masks, sanitizing hands, and taking temperatures. The collected plastic waste was handed over to recycling companies. The members in countries where outside activities were not allowed attracted citizens’ support through a signing campaign at the website.
“I didn’t usually take notice of it, but there was a lot of trash in the street I’m familiar with. I thought it would be hard to clean up, but as many people picked up litter together, it didn’t really take a long time. I could understand why they say ten people’s one step matters more than one person’s ten steps,” said Lee Su-hyeon (a member from Seoul, Korea) who participated in a street cleanup.
ASEZ WAO also held seminars to report on dangers of plastic waste in government offices. The members in Daejeon, Korea, for example, visited a borough office and emphasized the importance of a close cooperation among companies, governments, and citizens, as combined efforts regarding production, consumption, and disposal are essential to prevent plastic pollution. The borough office head guided them to a heavily polluted area with plastic waste and provided cleaning supplies.