What is Flip The Script Friday?

Flip The Script Friday is an event that takes place on a fortnightly basis where we invite organisations/adults onto our website/social media to answer the questions that young people have for them.

Why is it a thing?

This is an opportunity for young people’s voices to be heard and to have their questions answered. But equally, it’s a chance to destigmatize the discussion of mental health, highlight the great work that organisations are doing and to make reaching out for support from them less intimidating.

This week…

We collaborated with, Swap Plastic!  We’re five young women who began the SwapPlastic campaign through UpRising UK because of our mutual concerns about plastic pollution. We’ve operated entirely online through Zoom and Slack and are still yet to meet in person as a team.  SwapPlastic aims to educate people and businesses about plastic and give solutions to swap plastic where it isn’t necessary. We push the concept of being ‘plastic-aware’, not anti-plastic. Plastic could be great for climate change if we use and recycle it properly.

Q&A Time

We had so many questions sent in by young people to our Instagram @platfform4yp and here are some of the highlights!

Why did you decide to start the campaign?

Our shared interest in plastic pollution led us to create SwapPlastic. We still feel plastic is a very confusing topic for consumers like us and we want to help clear up people’s questions and concerns.

How does plastic pollution affect the environment?

Plastic pollution affects biodiversity loss more than climate change. 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die each year due to plastic pollution (WWF). Microplastic has now been found in unborn foetuses and there’s a lot we don’t know yet.

Where do you see Swap Plastic going in the future?

We have a lot of plans, including hosting conferences for students and businesses on plastic usage, seminars on topics like microplastics, creating a toolkit for businesses to use… anything, really! We’re in this for the long run 🙂

How do you fund the campaign?

We coordinate with organisations helping with funding – for example, Peace First. We’re open to any other funding opportunities, so get in touch!

Who do you want to work with in terms of SwapPlastic and why?

Zero-waste shops, small and local businesses, schools and students to inspire change and raise awareness!

If there is one thing that you would want young people to take away from this experience, what would it be?

  1. You don’t need to be a professional to start acting on something you care about. You can do it right now!

  2. Don’t be anti-plastic – be plastic-aware! There are thousands of types with different qualities. Think about plastic’s pros and cons and question how we can use it in an eco-friendlier way.

What is your favourite way to spend a day off?

  1. Nikita: Going out in nature

  2. Jyoti: Spend time with family

  3. Rosie: Either reading, watching films or going to the beach

How do you think climate change and plastic pollution affects people’s mental health and well-being?

  1. Climate change and plastic pollution can make people have eco-anxiety which affects mental health

  2. It makes them feel hopeless that they cannot cause change.

  3. We want to show people they can make small changes themselves which makes a big difference to plastic pollution.

How do you look after your own mental health and well-being?

  1. Nikita; meditating, self-care, putting phones away, exercise and eating well!
  2. Jyoti: self-care, travel and dance!
  3. Rosie: yoga, reading and binge watching Gilmore Girls 🙂 and I rarely go on my personal social media which I think helps a lot!

If you could meet someone, who would it be and why?

  1. David Attenborough. He is a legend

  2. Rosie: Boyan Slat – he got the idea for the Ocean CleanUp when he was eighteen and used it to create the biggest ocean cleanup project to date AND he’s multilingual!

  3. Jyoti: Tom Szaky- he is the CEO and founder of TerraCycle!

What are some facts that you think are most important for people to know?

  1. 46% of marine pollution comprises fishing nets (Source: The Ocean CleanUp)! If you want to reduce your plastic footprint, think about bottom trawling and where your fish is coming from!

  2. According to Plastic Oceans, plastic pollution kills 1 million marine animals each year while less than 9% of all plastic gets recycled (Source: Plastic Oceans International, 2021). https://plasticoceans.org/the-facts/

What advice would you give to someone wanting to help with plastic pollution?