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Leading fight against plastic pollution of sea

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A 15-year-old schoolboy said that he would use his experience of a sea expedition and conference to encourage his peers to combat plastic pollution of the oceans.

Andreaz Glasgow said: “I feel that I need to educate our youth of today that they cannot continue their wasteful behaviour and must literally clean up their act or, in a few years, drastic changes will start to become noticeable.”

The Berkeley Institute pupil said all Bermudians should take the problem seriously.

He said: “We are the future and if we do not combat the problem now, our grandchildren and future generations will suffer.”

Andreaz. from Sandys, was speaking last Thursday after he returned from the Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit.

The five-day event, held on board a ship in the North Atlantic Gyre, brought together representatives from key organisations in the plastic supply chain, including Clorox, Coca-Cola and Dow.

Executives from nature publications National Geographic and Outside also took part.

The event was designed to highlight new ways to help combat the problem of plastics in the world's oceans.

Andreaz said the chance to meet other participants was “amazing”.

He added: “The best part was being able to present in front of about 160 company executives and media from around the United States and other parts of the world.”

The summit was hosted by SoulBuffalo, which organises expeditions to help corporations learn about global problems and work with organisation to solve them.

Dave Ford, the founder of SoulBuffalo, said the event “was spectacular and Andreaz was amazing”.

He added: “He was incredible and added such a wonderful dynamic to the cohort.”

Andreaz was one of several island pupils who took part in the summit.

Micah Richardson, 17, said that his experience had cemented his desire to “make this my life's work”.

The Berkeley Institute pupil plans to study environmental studies at university.

Micah, from Devonshire, said that he also wanted to help to motivate other people his age.

He added: “Those leading now can only do so much.

“At some point, the next generation must further the current efforts.”

Mr Ford said it was important to have representatives from the “next generation” involved.

He added: “The Bermuda students and a group from Stanford University filled this important dynamic.”

Bermudian environmentalist JP Skinner said that the youngsters from the Berkeley Institute, Bermuda College and Bermuda High School had shone at the summit.

He added: “I was extremely proud of their contribution and the poise and maturity they displayed — especially presenting in front of hundreds of adults from around the world.”

Mr Skinner, from Paget, said the issue of plastic ocean pollution was of vital importance to Bermuda.

He added: “This issue will affect us greatly in coming years and the more awareness our population has of the issue, the better able we will be to tackle it.”

He said that there had been more than a dozen similar events that had brought scientists and others to Bermuda over the last ten years.

Mr Skinner said: “These events represent the huge potential for Bermuda to capitalise on such eco-tourism opportunities, to showcase the commitment of our island to ocean health and to provide education experiences for local students.

“We can and should be the global leaders in ocean education and research.”

Andreaz said it was important that he attended to help spread the word about the impact of plastic pollution in the seas, and that young Bermudians should be particularly concerned.

He added: “This is reality and we have to deal with this problem now.

“If we can make changes today, we can affect our future tomorrow.

“Young Bermudians must come to realise that trash doesn't clean itself up. Plastic is already in the ocean and affecting our marine life.

“Bermuda may not look the same in 20 years.”

Fighting plastic pollution: young Bermudians spell out their anti-pollution message on Cooper's Island
Green team: JP Skinner, left, Andreaz Glasgow, Ben Von Wong and Micah Richardson (Photograph by Yarrow Kraner)

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Published May 29, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated May 29, 2019 at 8:19 am)

Leading fight against plastic pollution of sea

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