Home AM-NC MIL-OSI United Kingdom: BHC partnership helps Gizo students mitigate plastic pollution

MIL-OSI United Kingdom: BHC partnership helps Gizo students mitigate plastic pollution

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Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

Last week 25 school children from Gizo and Emmanuel schools, Western province, completed 3 days of plastic art creation at the Gizo School Hall.

Two young students sorting out plastic for their artwork during the workshop.

Facilitated by Dreamcast Theatre Solomon Islands in collaboration with Plastic Wise Gizo and themed “Trash Art”, the workshop used art to connect with young people and raise awareness of the issue, changing behaviours towards plastic pollution, and protecting the marine biodiversity in Solomon Islands.

In 2022, a similar workshop was held in Honiara where children from selected schools in the city worked remotely with renowned UK artist, Mandy Barker, to create pieces of artwork made from everyday plastic collected sat the beach. Their artwork was then exhibited at the Dreamcast Theatre Art Hub.

At the Gizo School Hall, children in and around the urban centre have turned everyday plastics into beautiful pieces of artwork.

Dreamcast Theatre Solomon Islands workshop facilitator, Samantha Niunaras said:

Our first day involved introducing the purpose of the workshop as well as about Dreamcast Theatre Solomon Islands and Plastic Wise Gizo. We also covered the environmental threats of single use plastics and then asked the children to write down and illustrate what they feel is important to them and how they can protect the environment from the threats.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Her Excellency Emma Davis said:

Plastic pollution is one of the greatest global environmental challenges we currently face, and it is predicted that unless action is taken, there will be a threefold increase in the amount of plastic flowing into the ocean between 2016 and 2040. Friday 1st March 2024 marks a significant day in the efforts to end single use plastic in Solomon Islands as it is the start of the ban on single use plastics, and we must all play our part. I hope that Solomon Islanders and the children in Gizo will be able to soon see the impact of this ban.

Plastic Wise Gizo, a group in the Western Solomon Islands, keen on finding fun ways to reduce plastic waste and raising environmental awareness on the pressing litter issue also helped facilitated the workshop with Dreamcast.

Its Founder and Chairwoman, Rendy Solomon emphasised the significance of behavioural change and attitude towards waste management, saying:

It is crucial for programmes like these to reach communities, especially schools where primary children can adopt a mindset valuing inorganic waste. Engaging them during their curious and formative years ensures a lasting impact on future generations, allowing them more time to continue this important work.

On waste perceptions, she added:

Rubbish carries negative connotations often used to label undesirable things. Urbanization and economic changes have amplified the influx of goods, altering our relationship with waste. Despite being island nations, not continents, our behaviour towards waste and the disregard for its consequences reflects a broader issue.

Dreamcast Theatre Creative Director, Neil Nuia, who ensured the three-day workshop was a successfully, said:

Aligned with the government’s ban on single-use plastics, our trash art workshop for Children is a testament to community-driven dedication and action. As we reach the end of the six-month grace period for businesses and consumers to transition, Friday 01st March 2024 marks the moment when the children of Gizo step forward as active participants, seeking alternative solutions.

While our efforts may not single-handedly tackle the volume of plastic waste, they represent a vital step towards change. Let us continue to empower and support our children and youth, recognising their role in shaping a sustainable future.

Funded under the UK Climate Diplomacy Fund, the workshop concluded with a presentation of the children’s work using plastic.

Published 4 March 2024

MIL OSI United Kingdom