About 7 months ago, we made a decision to replace the usage of plastic straws for all iced coffees consumed in the shop. We had slight concern at the beginning as we were uncertain if our customers would be open to using metal straws for their iced coffees. After the past few months, we are thrilled by the positive response and thanks to our customers, our pledge to reduce plastic waste has been quite a success. The retail sale of the metal straws went through the roof and our supplier could hardly keep up with the demand.
Besides reducing the plastic waste footprint, we have pledged the net proceeds from the retail sale of the metal straws up till 31 Aug 2018 to a charitable cause. We wanted to work with a non-profit organization that focuses on projects targeted at protecting our fragile environment. Through a referral, we found out about Trash Hero Singapore. It is a non-profit run by 2 dedicated volunteers. They organise beach clean-ups and educational activities to raise awareness of the harmful impact that trash has on the global environment. We feel education is key especially for the next generation. Hence we decided to utilise the amount raised from the net proceeds of the sale of metal straws in funding the printing and shipping of a beautiful story and activity book, the Trash Hero Kids Book.
The book makes the connection between the issue of plastic leakage and the actions required in a thought-provoking and visually impactful way. The story follows the fictional character of “Trash Hero”, a child dedicated to helping sea creatures escape harm from trash, and his plight as the amount of plastic waste in the oceans increases. He appeals for help and receives it from a group of school children who promise to work together to save the oceans. It is an intentionally simple and “light” treatment of this serious subject, evocatively illustrated by Polish artist Ewelina Wajgert. The second part of the book contains some easily understood facts about marine litter, drawing and colouring activities and - most importantly - a challenge to become a new “Trash Hero”, through repetition of actions such as joining cleanups, recycling and saying no to single use plastic. Children will record their actions in the book and then, after gaining a certain number of points (assigned to each behaviour), will be able to claim their very own Trash Hero T-shirt as a reward.
From the net proceeds of $1000.20 from the metal straws, we topped up the amount to S$1100 to fund the entire print production and shipping of the 500 books from Thailand to Singapore. These books are distributed free to children of our Trash Heroes volunteers. The goal is to spur their interest and encourage positive behaviour in reducing trash. We hope the book will reach out to more children through Thrash Hero Singapore. If you work in an educational body and would like to find out more about this book, you can contact Trash Hero Singapore at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to contribute your time to helping to clean up our beach fronts and waterways, head over to https://www.facebook.com/TrashHeroSingapore/ to check on their latest clean up activities.
Here’s a short video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uktglqD16Og) of the idea and inspiration behind the book. Thank you again to those who contributed to this meaningful project!
- Team Nylon
Photos: Copyright of Trash Hero.org