Plastic pollution is a global problem - and we have a global solution.
Once I was told a story about the hummingbird and the forest fire. A terrible fire broke out and huge woodlands were engulfed by raging flames, frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the edge of a lake, they stopped; discouraged and powerless to watch their homes dissolve in flames. None of the animals, but a little hummingbird, decided to swoop into the lake and pick up a few drops of water. It went back to the forest and put the tiny drops over the fire. Then it went back to the lake and repeated the procedure, again and again. The rest of the animals watched the small bird in disbelief; some were even disparaging the efforts. One of the bigger animals finally mocked the hummingbird by asking “what do you think you are doing?” The hummingbird, without wasting time, looked back and said: I won’t stop the fire alone, but I'll do my part.
Similarly, Buy Food with Plastic came up as a response to the environmental and political issues I encountered while travelling with my friend in Nicaragua summer of 2018. We saw massive amounts of plastic along the shorelines and the political crisis that escalated simultaneously had severe consequences for the tourism industry.
Many hotels and restaurants along the coast closed, since few foreigners managed to make their way to Nicaragua. When we saw that families in the communities struggled to provide food for their children, it became clear: if people would help to collect plastic – they could use plastic as currency to pay for a meal. This idea was well received in the communities and over 300 kids participated in our events that summer. We collected around 4000 plastic bottles and used them as building material for a new house in the community.
Our vision is to continue to implement the project all over the world and create a movement to raise awareness about how plastic is valuable, as well as extremely hazardous if not taken care of. By 2050, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight, but everyone can do something to fight plastic pollution – especially by participation on grassroots level around the world. Every human carries a responsibility to carry their plastic from cradle to recycle bin and we'll hope that you'll join us on that journey.