On Friday 14th July 2023, Sustainable Inclusive Business (SIB-K) launched the #BinItRight Environmental Awareness Campaign at Bidii Primary School in Buruburu. Bidii Primary becomes the second school to host the plastic waste separation initiative after the campaign’s inaugural implementation at Umoja Primary School on 27th February 2023.
Gracing the launch event were Mr. Ebenezer Amadi- Project Manager of Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya; Mr. Mark Oremo- Board of Management Chair at Bidii Primary School; Ms. Susan Ogalo, the Deputy Headteacher at Bidii Primary School; Ms. Rachel Stanley, Bidii Primary School’s Environment and Integrity Patron, among other guests.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Mark Oremo noted that everyone is responsible for maintaining a clean environment around them. “We need a clean environment to improve not just human health but all biodiversity,” Mr. Oremo said. He cited that countries like Netherlands recycle organic waste into electricity, noting that he would like to see our country go towards that direction. Mr. Mark Oremo added that plastic waste should be turned into solutions for environmental problems, such as being used in water distribution for farm irrigation.
The Deputy Headteacher, Ms. Susan, appreciated the partnership and noted that the school’s management will open their doors to more opportunities that help enhance their environment. Ms. Rachel noted that those knowledgeable about environmental conservation should be at the forefront of creating awareness. She, therefore, emphasized the importance of cultivating environmental knowledge in pupils from a young age.
Mr. Ebenezer Amadi mentioned that plastic waste should be separated at the source and channeled to the proper recyclers since it has long-term detrimental effects on the ecosystem. The #BinItRight initiative helps contribute to a circular economy for plastics by teaching young children the importance of waste separation at the source. When separated, plastic waste is more accessible for recyclers to sort and process, making the recycling procedure consume less time and resources.
As part of the activities at the launch event, the Environment Club pupils were engaged in questions about the environment, waste management, waste separation, and recycling. A creativity competition also challenged the pupils to create functional items from plastic waste. The exercise aimed to get the pupils to appreciate the “Reuse” goal of the Circular Economy model. The exercise also helps them unlock their creativity, utilize the single-use plastics already within their reach, and prevent plastic waste from ending up in the environment.
At the end of the event, we led the children in a tree-planting exercise, which saw 80 seedlings planted. Each member of the Environment Club will adopt and nurture at least one tree. The students’ involved nurturing of the trees will help them appreciate their environment and continue to put effort into its conservation.
The schools under the #BinItRight campaign are linked to a plastic waste recycling company to facilitate collection for recycling. In line with the Circular Economy for plastics, this initiative demonstrates to children the importance of creating a closed loop for single-use plastics.
So far, the inaugural #BinItRight Environmental Awareness Campaign at Umoja Primary School has resulted in the retrieval of 192 KG of plastics from the school’s Environment. The SIB-K projects this number to rise as a result of more schools taking up the #BinItRight Environmental Awareness Campaign.