Today on World Water Day, youth groups from across Ireland have launched a campaign asking young people to make the switch from disposable plastic water bottles to reusable drinks containers.
The campaign #GotTheBottle is a campaign from four youth groups in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Dublin targeting second level schools across Ireland in an effort to reduce the waste caused by single-use disposable plastic bottles. Young people from Ossory Youth, Kilkenny, Youth Work Ireland Galway, Cork Foróige Project and ECO-UNESCO, Dublin are involved in the campaign.
UN World Water Day highlights the global water crisis which is effecting 663 million people globally, who are living without a safe, clean water supply. Increasingly extreme weather conditions like drought and flooding, which is caused by climate change, are making this issue worse. Over 152 million litres of bottled water are sold each year in Ireland, most of this contained in plastic packaging. Producing plastic bottles creates 100 times more greenhouse gas pollution than turning on a tap. Meanwhile it is estimated only a small percentage of water bottles are recycled with many ending up in the ocean. Plastic bottles are damaging nature and the natural ecology of our oceans while greenhouse effects of gases are impacting negatively on the developing world.
“Greenhouse gases emitted from the production of plastic bottles is impacting on the world’s climate and the future of young people “commented Kelly O’Sullivan, Cork Foróige Project. Rebecca Bourke, from Ossory Youth, Kilkenny calls on young people to make the switch; “There are people from poorer regions of the planet already suffering hugely in their everyday lives from the effects of climate change, and we can all make a difference by using reusable bottles.”
The youth groups are holding awareness events in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Kilkenny over the coming months to encourage young people to use reusable drinks containers and stop using disposable plastic water bottles. Here’s what some young people involved in the project have to say about #Gotthebottle:
Why is the campaign important to young people?
- “As young people we are the future. The change starts here with us. We can change the world for the better or for the worse”- Linda Zajkiewicz, Cork Foróige Project
- “We must begin saving the planet now before it’s too late!”- (Alex, 18, Galway)
- “Greenhouse gases emitted from the production of plastic bottles is slowly killing the planet and we want to play our part in keeping it safe for our children’s children’ (Daniel Cotter, Kilkenny)
What do you hope to achieve as a result of the campaign?
- “More use of reusable water bottles amongst young people and the general public would be a huge success for us!”-(Amanda, Galway)
- “We hope that more people will become aware of the issue of water bottles having a negative impact on the environment.”-(Josue, Galway)
- “That everyone can use reusable bottles instead of buying disposable bottles” (Shauna Cotter, Cork)
#Gotthebottle is calling on post primary schools and youth groups to get involved in the campaign. Check out fb.me/gotthebottle. Young people can also get involved by undertaking The Water Fountain challenge audit in their school.
For more information contact Ellen Donnelly, Youth Education Officer, Trócaire on [email protected] or 01 654 9125