by Tia

The umbrella organisation for the local plastics industry, Plastics SA, is proud to once again support Captain Fanplastic, an education and awareness programme about sustainable plastic use that travels to South African schools to increase children’s environmental literacy through hands-on learning. The first Captain Fanplastic school programme took place in September 2018, and the collaboration aims to reach learners at grassroots level – fostering a ripple effect that extends to homes and communities.

As part of this year’s involvement, Plastics SA sponsored a Plastic DIY kit which teachers will use to educate learners on the 5 R’s, namely refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle. A launch event took place recently at Ithemba Primary School in Capricorn, Western Cape, during which teachers and pupils alike were empowered with the tools and knowledge needed to make informed decisions about plastic consumption and waste management.

“Captain Fanplastic is a charismatic hero who engages children through storytelling, gamification, and clean-up activities. The primary objective is to instil a sense of compassion for the environment, promote circular thinking, and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4, 12, and 14. Plastics SA and Captain Fanplastic collectively aspire to reach 175,000 learners globally by 2025 with the #NoTrashButTreasure campaign,” explains Ruben Hazelzet, Head of Programme of Captain Fanplastic, creative director at Soapbox and UNICEF Young Climate Innovator.

The recent event specifically targeted Grade 3-5 students with a dynamic combination of storytelling, clean-up activities and the distribution of branded literacy materials to the enthusiastic learners. Armed with a map to document their findings, students embarked on a treasure hunt within the school grounds, collecting litter and turning the area into a pristine space within just 15 minutes. The highlight of the day was when Captain Fanplastic transformed trash into treasure, emphasizing the importance of reuse and recycling. 

“Captain Fanplastic plays an important role in educating our future leaders about the detrimental impact of land-based pollution on the marine environment. It is vital to reach children at this young age as they don’t yet have a lot of ingrained behaviour and still have a great ability for fantasy. They immerse themselves in the world of Captain Fanplastic, but act on it in reality. We are excited to see how this education campaign fosters a sense of responsibility towards plastic pollution on a global scale,” concludes Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics SA.

For more information about Captain Fanplastic, https://captainfanplastic.com/

More information on Plastics SA can be found on www.plasticsinfo.co.za.

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