PLASTIC: Unwrapped is a mission involving two biology graduates who are travelling through six continents within nine months from September 2019 to find solutions to plastic pollution. This international project will showcase how individuals and initiatives around the globe are using plastic responsibly as a resource, rather than ignoring the problem.
The project’s three key aims are to:
1. Learn and understand how individuals are dealing with the problem of plastic
2. Uncover and highlight the need for localised solutions to a global problem
3. Create a global network
The project’s two outputs are:
1. A short, documentary-style video to report on our findings in the short term.
2. A website that can be used to suggest solutions to problems in the long term.
Milly Clover and Sophie Dorothe Lieke
We have just graduated from the University of St Andrews in June 2019. The PLASTIC: Unwrapped project has been inspired by the many discussions we have had about conservation and the need to take immediate and individual action during our respective undergraduate degrees in Biology with French and Biology and Geography.
The whole point of the international travel – partly sponsored by the R&A Travel Scholarship and supported by the School of Biology – is to visit as many areas around the globe as possible, learn how plastic is being used there as a resource, understand the contextual challenges, then piece all this research together.
There are countless initiatives out there, but they need to be collated. That’s why we are trying to facilitate a network that will allow individuals a platform where they can share their role in solving the plastic pandemic: this will in turn enable others to see and use their solutions and ultimately promote capacity building.
Your support will enable these individuals to assume more global responsibility and make their message more accessible and far-reaching.
How will your donations help?
Carbon offsetting our journey
We are aware that a project of this scope has a significant carbon footprint. As we are trying to keep the trip as environmentally-friendly as possible, £2000 is needed to carbon- offset our transportation costs. This involves calculating our combined carbon footprint for the trip (considering flights, other means of transportation, accommodation, food consumption) and giving money to an approved carbon- offset scheme to ensure our carbon emissions are balanced by projects such as tree planting.
Hardware and software
To make effective, good-quality videos, we need a second-hand laptop that we can take on our travels along with some software that will allow us to edit the videos. Gear such as a Gimble will help to stabilise the camera while we are filming and will therefore help us to achieve a higher quality, accessible and clear video.
Our project deliberately includes visits to a wide range of countries, because it is only by doing so that we can understand the localised solutions that exist to solve a global problem and, as a result, create a global network. Our aims can only be achieved by doing so. This means that our logistical costs are high. While living costs will be kept to a minimum, basic food and accommodation also needs to be covered and will allow us to fulfill our mission safely and effectively.
Will be donated to University of St Andrews Transition and the Plastic Free St Andrews Campaign. The money will be used to produce materials for the student body and local community, illustrating how to recycle correctly and appropriately: there is evidence that this is one of the biggest problems surrounding plastic disposal in St Andrews.
We hope that the global importance of this issue will motivate you to support PLASTIC: Unwrapped. We appreciate that this is an ambitious project to undertake – both in terms of logistics and finance – but with your help we can achieve our goals and raise awareness of this key issue.
Individually, we can make changes. Together, we can make a real difference.
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