U-recycle Initiative, a youth-led NGO focused on mitigating plastic pollution in Nigeria, has launched a new transformative campaign called “The PlasticWize Fellowship”.
The Fellowship is focused on catalysing behavioural change amongst university students across Nigeria towards mitigating marine plastic pollution.
This campaign features capacity-building programs and widespread creative interventions to educate University Students indepthly on how to reduce their plastic footprints.
In addition, it will be spearheaded by 30 young, female undergraduates who will be called the “PlasticWize Fellows”.
In May 2022, U-recycle surveyed a total of 1318 students from 160 tertiary in 36 states in Nigeria.
From this research, it was discovered that about 7 in 10 Nigerian University students have never heard of the term “marine plastic pollution”, and consequently, have no idea about its meaning.
This is not a surprise, however, as this research agrees with previous studies that identified universities as a hotspot for single-use plastic overconsumption, excessive waste generation, and littering.
The PlasticWize Fellowship was born out of a desire to solve this urgent problem. The Executive Director of U-recycle Initiative, Africa, Oluwaseyi Moejoh, has this to say about the fellowship: “At U-recycle Initiative we believe that plastic pollution is not just a challenge but an opportunity to bring about innovative solutions that tackle pollution at its root whilst promoting youth development and empowering young women. We look forward to collaborating with our fellows to catalyse meaningful impact through the PlasticWize Campaign”
After demonstrating significant potential, 30 young, female undergraduates have been selected from six universities across Nigeria as the inaugural PlasticWize Fellows, namely: University of Lagos (UNILAG); Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo; University of Ilorin; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife (OAU); the University of Benin (UNIBEN); and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
These 30 undergraduates will spearhead the goal of the PlasticWize Fellowship in their respective schools through 4 sub-projects: an innovation workshop, a 21-day #IamPlasticWize challenge, an installation of a monument, and a university policy adoption to reduce the generation of single-use plastics in their respective universities.
U-recycle Initiative Africa is a youth-led non–profit focused on advancing environmental education, circular economy and climate action across Africa. So far, they have implemented over 36 environmental and youth development projects engaging over 7100 youths across 11 African countries. Their projects are focused on enlightening youths to take action against plastic pollution whilst empowering them with the required knowledge and expertise to create solutions.