ACTION & AWARENESS
AWARENESS THROUGH ACTION
Our core programme focuses on gathering the community together in weekly cleanup actions, open to all: “no cost, no sign-up, just show up”.
In coastal areas the litter picks usually take place on the beach; in villages and towns any public space will be cleaned. The events are an opportunity to come together to do something good for the area: they are fun and friendly. The achievements of the group are celebrated both on the day and on social media.
The feelgood factor that comes from removing tonnes of rubbish is not the only outcome, however. Participants learn first hand about the scale of the plastic problem and are encouraged to make a direct connection between what they have just picked up and what they use on a daily basis.
An informal debriefing session after the cleanup discusses what changes everyone can make in their daily lives to help reduce the amount of waste we produce – and have to pick up.
In some areas, we will also carry out waste or brand audits. This involves sorting the collected rubbish by type or brand. The results can be an eye-opening experience for many participants! The data is provided to researchers and campaign groups working on plastic pollution.
Our Trash Hero volunteers organise each event, seeking donations in kind from the local business community. These sponsors will provide cleaning materials, gloves, refreshments and (if required) transport for the participants. Each contribution is acknowledged both at the cleanup and on social media.
Because the litter picks are regular – usually weekly – they become a part of the community calendar. They allow for many different stakeholders to join: schools, government departments, companies, residents and tourists.
The repetition helps to change participants’ habits with regard to consumption of single use plastic, as well as keeping the issue of plastic pollution constantly visible on the local agenda.
Trash Hero GB supports this programme worldwide by:
- Attending on-site volunteer workshops and meetings
- Setting up training sessions for the use of social media, PR and marketing
- Developing volunteer training courses
- Creating volunteer guidelines, standards and policies for easier implementation of new chapters (English and local language)
- Creating marketing materials to be used by chapters to promote their activities
- Monitoring chapter activities for compliance and quality standards
- Reporting on chapter activities and impact for global fundraising and PR purposes
- Providing support for volunteers in difficult or challenging situations; intervention and dispute resolution