MISSION

THE AMERICAN EMBASSY SCHOOLS INVITED THE 5GYRES TEAM OUT TO INSPIRE LOCAL SOLUTIONS TO PLASTIC POLLUTION
THROUGH EDUCATION AND ACTION IN DEHLI, CHENNAI AND MUMBAI.

Approach

We gave presentations, told stories, hosted assemblies, dissected albatross bolus and brainstormed local solutions with thousands of students.  We created a 4-hour hands-on Earth Day assembly  and hosted a weekend long Leadership Summit for students from 5 schools representing India from north to south to help leaders start putting solutions into action.  In our down time, we investigated plastic pollution from every angle by visiting landfills, recycling centers and slums.  We visited the two most polluted rivers in India and met with countless NGOs, including  ChintanSulabhSwechhaConserve IndiaVSPCAand Speed Trust, who are all working on local solutions.  I also met with policy maker, Arti Mehra, leader of the BJP–the current political party in charge.

Results

Results from this trip will be slow and steady.  We were able to set forth an action plan for increased education and awareness with Arti Mehra, former Mayor and current representative of the BJP party in charge.  Students have already convinced a handful of local shopkeepers and chai vendors to opt for reusable bags and glass wear instead of single-use plastics.

Students are also working on:
• Implementing bins for collecting trash that is otherwise strewn about

• Banning plastics at campus cafeterias and cafes

* Educating village communities about the impact of plastic bags when eaten by sacred cows

• Increasing relationships with ragpickers and recyclers at local slums to reduce the number of steps between plastic consumption and recycling.