UK Conservation Champions

Folkestone

We are past the point where we can simply recycle our way out of the ocean plastics crisis. It represents a serious environmental problem, killing marine life, destroying ecosystems and now entering the food chain. Plastic is washing up in the most remote locations on Earth and microplastics are even being found in human blood and lung tissue. We need new and innovative approaches to resolve this global issue. 

The Circular Economy is driven by design and by rethinking how we use and reuse plastics to circulate products and eliminate waste and pollution. This economic model reuses, repurposes, and recycles plastic, rather than it being discarded as waste. Our innovative educational project will engage 100s of children in Folkestone in 2024 to learn more about their marine environment, conservation and the Circular Economy. Our project aims to mitigate so-called ‘eco-anxiety’ that children are suffering from by showing them how they can each make a positive difference to the world by taking steps to learn about and improve their environment. 

Big Blue Foundation will teach the children about the Circular Economy and how to ‘close the loop’ on waste plastic. The children will collect, sort and identify ocean plastics during healthy activities including kayaking and paddleboarding at Folkestone Sea Sports Centre, operated by our partner charity The Sports Trust. Some of the plastics collected will be used to create new products of higher value than the original material and the children will be able to see some of our project partners in action. We work with social enterprise Waterhaul.co who turn ocean plastics into high quality 100% recycled sunglasses and are expanding our efforts with our corporate partners in Kent, including The Oak & Rope Company and The Independent Pedaler.

Understanding human behaviour is vital to developing interventions that mitigate threats to the environment and effectively lead to pro-environmental behaviour change, whether the focus is at the individual or societal level. The children and families that will benefit from our initiative will gain a sense of fulfilment and increase their personal well-being by being part of a local solution to a global problem.