SAVE THE DATE: Nov 23 – Dec 2 2018 | Greenpeace & partners announce MAKE SMTHNG Week to fight overconsumption and waste

SAVE THE DATE: Nov 23 – Dec 2 2018 | Greenpeace & partners announce MAKE SMTHNG Week to fight overconsumption and waste

Hamburg, Sep 24, 2018 – To fight overconsumption and our current throw-away lifestyle, campaign organizations Greenpeace, Fashion Revolution, #Breakfreefromplastic, Shareable, the Fab City Global Initiative and Fablabs community invite the public to the second MAKE SMTHNG Week: a week of action for the global maker movement to replace shopping with creative ideas on how to reuse, upcycle, repair and share existing goods. The week will kick off on Black Friday, Nov 23, a major shopping day that generates billions of sales and tons of waste.

Starting from Black Friday until Dec 2nd 2018, Greenpeace and its partners will ask the public to MAKE SMTHNG – BUY NOTHING. MAKE SMTHNG Week invites and encourage makers from across the globe to host and organize hands-on workshops and events in their local communities to teach people simple maker skills.

“Black Friday has become one of the major peaks of consumerism. We want to show that everyone can make positive change in their cities by using creativity, community spirit and maker skills to make the most of what we already own. Our global week of action brings together people with incredible making, upcycling, repair, reuse, zero waste and cooking skills. Buying less is not only great for the planet, it’s also fun and social.” said Kirsten Brodde, the global project leader of MAKE SMTHNG Week.

This year’s motto is MAKE CHANGE, asking makers around the globe to act as changemakers in their communities. Together with Arts Thread, the coalition put out a call for creative ideas to “Disrupt Black Friday” this upcoming November 23. The competition asks artists, designers and creatives  to come up with a disruptive piece of public artivism, installation or community action. The winner of the “Disrupt Black Friday” competition will see his/her design implemented by one participating Greenpeace office. A shortlist of guerilla actions that people can independently implement will be presented to the international network of makers on Oct 10, while the overall winner will be declared on Oct 17.

MAKE SMTHNG Week will also invite the public to sign up for its MAKE SMTHNG challenge to get tips and tutorials on how to get started with making more and buying less.

Last year’s MAKE SMTHNG Week drew over 15.000 people to 186 workshop events in 33 countries, with hundreds of makers, creatives, artists, designers and chefs teaching skills like upcycling, visible mending, repairing, cooking and making in their workshops.

Resources & Background Information+
Background Information on MAKE SMTHNG
Toolkit for Event Organizers, Design and Resources
MAKE SMTHNG photos and videos
Follow MAKE SMTHNG on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube
Fashion Revolution
Fab Labs Network
Fab City Global Initiative
Arts Thread

For more information contact  

Greenpeace – Lu Yen Roloff, Comms Lead MAKE SMTHNG, Greenpeace Germany +49 151 100 28267


To break free from plastic is to stop plastic where it starts

To break free from plastic is to stop plastic where it starts

by Jed Alegado, #breakfreefromplastic Asia-Pacific Communications Officer

A report of the Center for Environmental Law (CIEL) states that “99% of plastics are produced from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels.” U.S. plastics production is located in regions near fossil fuel extraction especially in the Gulf Coast, and Appalachia where communities are fighting proposed expansion of the extraction and infrastructure necessary to ramp up plastics production for export.”

The report further states that the “availability of cheap shale gas in the United States is fueling a massive wave of new investments in plastics infrastructure in the US and abroad, with $164 billion planned for 264 new facilities or expansion projects in the US alone, and spurring further investment in Europe and beyond.”

Such was rationale behind the #StoppingPlasticWhereItStarts Tour organised by one of the #breakfreefromplastic member groups in the United States, Earthworks. According to Jennifer Krill, Earthworks’ Executive Director, the tour seeks to serve as a platform to bring U.S. grassroots community leaders threatened by oil and gas are joining their voices with communities around the world trying to break free from plastic.”

“Plastic pollution begins with the climate and community health impacts from fracking and petrochemical manufacturing. The U.S. is the largest producer in the world of oil and gas, thanks to fracking, and now, the industry wants us to be the world’s supplier of plastic,” said Krill.

I had a privilege of joining this two-week tour with seasoned activists Myrna Dominguez of the Asia-Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty from the Philippines and Lakshmi Narayan from KKPKP of Pune, India. Myrna who used to be connected with the underground Leftist movement in the Philippines is a champion of smallholder food producers rights in the region while Lakhsmi is a trade union activist and is carrying the issues of waste pickers.

During the tour, we visited proposed fracking sites in Texas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. In these cities, we met groups fighting fracking and oil and gas facilities owned by large petrochemical corporations. Despite the differences in the level of struggles among these groups, one thing is clear: communities of color and low-income communities are the ones suffering from the health and environmental impacts of these linked industries. They are the ones largely experiencing the bad impacts of ethane and methane pollution.

This was evident in Port Arthur, Karnes and Corpus Christi in Texas where Hispanic migrants living near the facilities are fighting the construction of these facilities. In the state of Louisiana particularly in St. James and St. John, African-American groups who have historical roots in slavery are suffering from health impacts of methane plants and oil pipelines which have health ramifications for the residents living in the area known as “Cancer Alley”. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, residents are greatly impacted by these proposed sites in Beaver and Allegheny counties.

These connected industries (plastic and fuel), have unsustainable, violent, and oppressive practices that harm not just consumers but the very people they employ because of labor practices, human rights abuses, concealment of scientific information from the public and until now flat-out refusal to take responsibility for the havoc they cause.

In these visits, Lakhsmi, Myrna, and I have shown how the impacts of plastic in countries in the Global South like India and Philippines are connected to the large investments of these corporations to construction of oil and gas facilities in these states.

The response of the public outside the activist circle is amazing. In one of our public events, someone from the audience asked how they can help with the struggles of these fisherfolk and waste picker groups which Lakshmi and Myrna have been leading.

We have tried to explain to them that their struggles are same with our struggles and that solidarity in order to fight the intersection of extractive industries and plastic manufacturing industries which have bad impacts to our health, environment, and livelihoods.

Convergence among movements from different races and from different kinds of struggles is necessary as we fight against big corporations carrying the neoliberal principles. Uniting these groups from the upstream to the downstream of the plastic chain will bring about a broad yet solid front against capitalism and its excesses.

To fully #breakfreefromplastic, we should stop plastic where it starts.


100 KG Plastic Wastes Collected from Dhanmondi Lake Area

100 KG Plastic Wastes Collected from Dhanmondi Lake Area

Written by Mohammad Nazimuzzaman of ESDO


Dhanmondi, Dhaka- 19 th September 2018

Plastic pollution in city water bodies has been creating havoc to our life and nature. Within
one and half an hour, around 100 KG single use-plastic wastes were collected from
Dhanmondi lake area in Dhaka. Fifty volunteers from Shaheed Bir Uttam Lt. Anwar Girls
College and Dhanmondi Govt Girls High School, students from Daffodil International
University and ESDO team members did the drive in the occasion of “World Cleanup Day”
and BFFP brand audit on September 16, Sunday. Environment and Social Development
Organization-ESDO initiated this movement to create public awareness and knocking the
extended producer’s responsibility.

After the brand audit and cleanup activities, 97.5 kg single use plastic packaging and sachets
were collected.On the basis of product types, it was found that for Household product, Food
product, Personal care product and for other mixed items, the total weight of plastics were
40.31 kg, 32.806 kg, 0.108 kg and 23.83 kg respectively. Sample were collected for 2 hours
covering 1 km area of Dhanmondi lake. So for the whole day, if the sample collection is for 8
hours, from the estimation it could be said that for whole Dhanmondi lake that is 4.34 km 2 in
size, the total amount of plastic waste will be approximately 50,543.4 kg in a month. Most of
the non-recyclable plastic goes into the lake which creates pollution into the water bodies and
severly affecting aquatic life.

From the Brand Audit, 120 brands of 82 producers were identified, which includes
corporations like PRAN-RFL, Abul Monem Ltd., Bombay Sweets Company, Nomad Foods
Limited, Dhaka Ice cream International Limited, Nestle, Unilever, Square, Meridian Group,.
and Perfetti Van Melle Bangladesh Pvt Ltd.

In the opening of the cleaning and auditing drive, former Secretary and ESDO Chairperson
Syed Marghub Murshed urged the government to take necessary steps to protect our water
bodies from plastic and micro plastic pollution. He said, “we are in a global pollution area, so
we need collective efforts to tackle this situation. Manufacturers cannot green wash their role
of plastic pollution crisis”, he added.

The Brand Audit tool is designed by Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) Global movement.
Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) is the member of this Break
Free From Plastic movement. This Brand Audit is mainly done to create awareness among
the public and also for the manufacturers who are using single uses plastics in their products
packaging and also to motivate them for using the alternatives of it.

For more information, please visit –

Contact Information:
Mohammad Nazimuzzaman
Program Associate (Communication)
Mobile: 01714737913 (For Emergency)

UMD students join #breakfreefromplastic

UMD students join #breakfreefromplastic

by The Standard-Times

DARTMOUTH — UMass Dartmouth PIRG students joined Break Free From Plastic, the global movement working to stop plastic pollution, in taking coastal and neighborhood cleanups a step further by naming the brands most responsible for the plastic pollution, according to a news release.

From Sept. 9-15, groups under the #breakfreefromplastic banner have collectively organized more than 150 cleanups in 46 countries to incorporate data on corporate plastic pollution found in communities across the world.

“Small cleanups around campus are important to spark even bigger change beyond. Spreading awareness about environmental issues is always crucial no matter how you do it or when,” said Caroline Quirk, a freshmen sustainability major and first-time volunteer with UMD’s MASSPIRG chapter, in a statement.

UMD students found over 35 bottles of water, a third of which were from Néstlé, a dozen beer cans from corporations like Coors and Twisted Tea, and hundreds of articles of trash with common brands like polystyrene containers from Dunkin’ Donuts and plastic bags littering campus, according to the release.

“Brand audits are about creating corporate accountability for the plastic pollution that litters our oceans, waterways, and communities,” said Graham Forbes, Global Plastics Project Leader at Greenpeace, in a statement.

To view the brand audit toolkit, click here.


Clean up the beach… and improve brand image!

Clean up the beach… and improve brand image!

This article was written by Zero Waste France Director, Flore Berlingen and was kindly translated by a Zero Waste France volunteer.

A large-scale operation of abandoned waste collection is set to take place next Saturday, September 15 on World CleanUp Day. On this special occasion, Zero Waste France prepared a series of four articles to gain perspective and understand the various dangers associated with what is sometimes designated as “wild waste”.

Waste collection on beaches and other natural areas is a practice that emerged a long time ago. It is at the heart of the charter of numerous national and European foundations – such as Surfrider Foundation established in 1990 – and regional and local organizations as well – like Mer-Terre established in 2000 in the French PACA region – notably because it associates awareness-raising with information and action on the field.

Personal initiatives – oftentimes spreading with the help of social media (see Run Eco Team) – have recently been able to revive the momentum and attract a new audience, beyond environmental activists. “Salutary action or fake activism?” the media asks, in the face of the enthusiasm triggered by these initiatives. Zero Waste France is particularly sceptical regarding the role played by sponsors and supporters of some of these projects.

Let’s take TIRU group – a subsidiary of Dalkia and EDF group – who decided to provide support to the Run Eco Team project through the creation of a mobile application designed to motivate the “ploggers” (i.e. joggers who collect abandoned waste as they run) by measuring the energy that could be generated by burning the collected items. Now it is easy to understand TIRU’s motives in advertising waste incineration here, since it is their main activity. However the message sent is in absolute contradiction with every awareness-raising campaign relating to waste reduction, sorting and recycling! Similarly, Plastic Odyssey has been delivering a quite discouraging and inaccurate discourse on alternatives: “Change our consumption patterns, stop the use of packaged products, and choose sustainable alternatives (bioplastics, edible packaging). All these transformations are necessary but require a lot of time.” These comments instantly weigh less if we pay attention to the main partners of the project (among which we find Veolia) and its purpose: “to demonstrate the value of plastic waste as a resource” notably through the development of a plastic pyrolysis technology.

The interest of companies in volunteer pickups is not new either – “clean up nature!” operations of Leclerc Centres started in 1997 – but it lately grew with the media coverage of the crisis of ocean plastic pollution. Some brands do not hesitate to make it a cornerstone of their CSR strategy and show it to the world: Procter & Gamble welcomed in 2017 the participation of “thousands of volunteers” in the collection of waste on beaches for the manufacture of a limited series of partially recycled (25% only) plastic shampoo bottles. A short-lived operation, limited to France, accompanied by additional costs for consumers… yet rewarded by the United Nations.

The giant Henkel also recently spoke about its commitment to the work of volunteers on the Danube river, while Coca-Cola called for “Litter heroes” with Keep Britain Tidy, alongside MacDonalds, KFC and many other food and distribution brands.

Of course large retailers responsible for the placing on the market of disposable products and packaging should participate in the financing of waste management resulting therefrom. However, their influence on public awareness campaigns can lead to a huge pitfall: that of suggesting that the ubiquitousness of plastics in our environment is only the result of mismanagement and incivility and can therefore be solved without ever questioning the reign of disposable items.

This featured image for this article is by Øyvind Holmstad and is licensed as (CC BY-SA 4.0).

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