This document was created during the Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) Youth Summit on April 10, 2022. It contains the demands, commitments, and plans of action of BFFP youth participants.
Break Free From Plastic Youth believes that reversing the plastic pollution crisis requires systemic change.
In its many forms and phases, plastic pollution is one of the greatest environmental threats to the planet. Plastic packaging accounts for nearly half of all plastic waste globally. Every stage of the plastic life cycle is toxic, not just to the environment and wildlife, but to human health and quality of life. Additionally, our current single-use throwaway economy disproportionately affects communities and countries that have done the least to create this crisis, making them more vulnerable to the effects of the plastics and climate crises.
We, the largest generation of youth, are left with this debacle to fix after decades of neglect and abuse by the generations that have come before us. The plastic pollution crisis is one of the biggest challenges that our generation and succeeding ones face. Our future is at stake.
Given the lack of concrete actions from our world leaders, and how the power imbalance among nations and various sectors of society has adversely impacted our lives, we are stepping up as agents of change to build a future free from plastic pollution. We deserve and demand a planet with an abundance of life, not an abundance of plastic; and where the principles of environmental justice, social justice, public health, and human rights lead government policy, not the demands of the elites and corporations.
Through working together as one global youth movement, while uplifting traditionally marginalized voices, we know that the impact we make on a local level will contribute to global systems change. We are committing ourselves to these strategic plans of action:
1. Keep plastic producers responsible and pressure them to change their systems of distribution through campaign activities such as the Brand Audit.
2. Educate the youth, our communities, and networks as we shift the narrative towards real solutions to the plastic pollution crisis, expose false solutions, and highlight the strong connections between plastic pollution, human health impacts, and climate change.
3. Actively engage stakeholders in our school, university, communities, cities, and country, in promoting and implementing zero waste solutions and alternative systems.
4. Contribute to local and international forums and ensure that world leaders are kept accountable as they negotiate about our future.
5. Grow the movement among young people and collaborate with other youth networks, educational institutions, and groups across the globe for coordinated BFFP Youth campaigns.
6. Actively push and campaign for global, national, and local policy changes to ban single-use plastic.
As we work and empower one another towards our goals, we recognize that the plastics and climate crises, at the most profound level, are crises of alienation from each other, our environment, and the self. While individual actions to reduce the use of single-use plastic are important, systemic and institutional change is needed to achieve true and lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. As we take action in solidarity, we take charge of our future.
Together, we are creating a just and plastic-free future.