On the 11th and 12th of October, Trash Hero joined the Global Plastics Summit in Bangkok. Hundreds of representatives from businesses, NGOs and world governments attended the event. They discussed ideas and solutions to plastic pollution ahead of the official negotiations for the UN Plastics Treaty in Nairobi in November. Trash Hero representatives pushed to prioritise reuse and refill and showed delegates the toxic impact of plastics in the Global South.
Trash Hero Luzern in Switzerland has been working with the Sunset Beatz festival to reduce single-use plastic. They developed a deposit return system where festival goers pay a $2 deposit for a reusable cup. When they return the cup at the end of the night, they get their money back. The system has prevented the use of 95,000 single-use cups over five years. As well as reducing waste, Trash Hero volunteers collect and sort trash during the event.
Trash Hero has been collecting impact data since they started cleanups in December 2013. Up to June 2023, they are active in 116 locations in 15 countries. 19,534 volunteers (including 127,955 under 16s) have collected over 2 million kilos of trash. They have sold 106,848 reusable bottles, preventing over 38 million single-use plastic bottles from being used and 2030 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Watch this short video to see their full impact numbers.
Trash Hero chapters worldwide have been inspiring communities to embrace zero waste. One example is Trash Hero Pattani, in Thailand, who worked with the Southern Border Volunteer Fair organisers to ensure the event produced as little waste as possible! Thanks to their input, no single-use plastic bottles were distributed at the event. Instead, water glasses and water refills were provided. Trash Hero Larantuka organised a zero-waste picnic in Indonesia – everyone brought food and drinks in reusable containers. We love to see volunteers helping change the way their communities organise events in a way that reduces their plastic footprint.
In April and May Trash Hero hosted their first round of Family Meetings in 2023. Family Meetings are Trash Hero’s volunteer training where they share knowledge about zero waste and plastic reduction, while volunteers share their experiences and local knowledge. Over 4 events, hosted in Switzerland, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, they brought together over 100 participants from 54 chapters. The energy was fantastic, and many left with a renewed vigour and passion for creating change. Read more HERE and watch this short video.
Trash Hero have been attending this week’s Plastic Treaty Talks in Paris.The team listened to member states discussing the rules of procedure, networked with other organisations from #breakfreefromplastic working towards a strong treaty, getting to know the different delegations and their positions. Congregating in Paris, a 55-nation coalition called for a strong treaty including restrictions on certain hazardous chemicals as well as bans on problematic plastics products that are hard to recycle and often end up in nature.
Last month, Trash Hero attended the Break Free From Plastic Global Meeting in Hoi An, Vietnam. Together with over 100 core members, they discussed the Global Plastics Treaty and how to work together to make the refill revolution a reality. Trash Hero were delighted to have been invited to the event and were able to contribute their expertise on brand audits and their essential role in corporate accountability. It also was an important opportunity to bring their volunteers’ hard work and stories to a global platform.
On March 19th Trash Hero Thailand hosted a ‘Bike for Zero Trash’ event in Sam Roi Yot, with the aim to bring attention to the issue of plastic pollution and promote environmentally friendly practices. The 60km route was open to all cycling enthusiasts, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Volunteers worked alongside organizers to eliminate plastic water bottles, and instead, refill stations were installed. Participants were encouraged to bring reusable bottles or use the ones provided by Trash Hero. The event attracted 170 attendees, many of whom participated in a post-event cleanup.
In 2022 Trash Hero mobilised 54,741 volunteers, of whom 17,163 were under 16. These incredible volunteers have been part of 3,296 clean-ups; that’s an average of over 9 clean-ups a day, amounting in the removal of 148,728 kgs of trash. Data has been collected since December 2013, and you can find out about the impact to date in this video. Read more about what it means to be a Trash Hero in their latest blog.
Trash Hero are passionate about beach cleanups, which are so much more than removing plastic pollution from the environment. Here are a few reasons why cleanups are crucial in creating a plastic-free world:
🤝Involvement – A group of people come together to take action in working towards a common goal.
🗣️ Conversation – By asking questions on the origins of plastic waste, volunteers start to think about the most effective ways to reduce plastic pollution.
💛 Community – Businesses, schools, local leaders and volunteers are united in reducing plastic and protecting their communities.