USAID/CENN Environmental Campaign #SayNoToPlastic Brings Together Increasing Number of Participants

Plastic pollution, the accumulation of plastic objects and particles in the Earth's environment, which adversely affects wildlife, habitat and humans, represents one of the biggest challenges and threats to the environment. Consequently, more and more countries are taking important steps to reduce the use of plastic and save the planet.

The reduction of disposable plastic is the only meaningful solution followed by proper waste management system. Georgia is also involved in this initiative and is developing multiple projects and environmental campaigns supporting development of its waste management system.

On October 25, with the support of USAID, CENN launched the large-scale environmental campaign #SayNoToPlastic, aimed at reducing environment pollution from plastic.

To raise public awareness of this problem, 48 conceptual posters created by Georgian designers within the Cannes Lions Georgia competition were showcased in the shopping centers of Galleria Tbilisi and Tbilisi Mall and the multifunctional space Fabrika. Visitors to the venues had an opportunity to view the posters featuring the designers' view of environmental pollution with plastic waste and the reduction of consumption of disposable plastics in everyday life.

In addition to the exhibition of conceptual posters, within the campaign a public discussion titled ‘Creative Ways to Raise Environmental Awareness and Waste Management in Georgia’ was held at Fabrika on November 14.

The participants of the discussion included Cannes Lions Georgia representatives, authors of the posters of the Cannes Lions Georgia Competition and USAID / CENN WMTR Program Representatives Nana Takvarelia and Anna Petriashvili.

The #SayNoToPlastic campaign is being implemented successfully and is growing by day, with the active participation of young activists, CENN partner organizations, international organizations operating in Georgia, businesses, well-known actors and journalists and other stakeholders.

The campaign has already been joined by Georgian youth interested in environment protection, as well as local celebrities such as TV host, actor, publisher, marketer and radio presenter Bakhva Bregadze, model and TV host Manika Asatiani, actress Vika Kalandia and well-known gymnast and TV presenter Ketevan Khatiashvili.

They participate in the social media campaign with great enthusiasm, calling on the public to reduce consumption of disposable plastics and to replace them with reusable items.

The participants of the campaign upload photos depicting their changes in behavior on social media under the title #SayNoToPlastic. By showing their own example of how to reduce plastic use in daily life, they aim to encourage the rest of the society to follow and to take better care of nature.

Those interested in waste management challenges can follow the page WMTR Program and look out for a regular quiz to win a CENN / USAID gift package of environmentally friendly reusable items.

The first winners of the #SayNoToPlastic campaign contest were recently awarded at Galleria Tbilisi by Manika Asatiani and Ketevan Khatiashvili with a CENN/USAID Program gift set.

Along with certain individuals, various companies caring about ecology have also joined the new environmental campaign.

ARDI insurance company has refused to use plastic cards and started to replace them with electronic health insurance cards.

On November 11, the special electronic card portal was launched for all Ardi costumers. “Together, we will all contribute to the significant environment campaign #SayNoToPlastic” said the CEO of the Company Mikheil Japaridze.

The move was positively appraised by the CENN Executive Director, Nana Janashia, who noted that the main purpose of the campaign is precisely to make such changes at the individual and company level, which ultimately promises a united, positive and powerful effect on the environment for the better future of our planet.

“We would like to thank Ardi Insurance Company for this exciting and modern initiative and for supporting our campaign. We hope that other companies will also follow its example and will bravely make moves for our future generations,” Janashia said.

Along with Ardi Insurance Company, the eco-friendly cocktail and beer bar, ‘Pulsar Bar,’ has also joined the campaign, refusing to use all kinds of plastic and replacing it with reusable items.

“Did you know that 91% of plastic is not recycled and is dumped into landfills and the oceans?” Pulsar Bar writes on its Facebook page. “For these and other reasons, we refuse to use disposable plastic containers and straws in the bar. If you can't imagine your life without them, we offer paper straws.

“The average time a polyethylene bag is used is only 12 minutes. However, it can take up to 1000 years to dissolve in nature. Accordingly, all the containers we use are reusable and with your support we plan to use them for years to come,” writes Pulsar Bar.

The initiative got very positive feedback from customers, and they personally joined #SayNoToPlastic campaign following the example of the Bar.

As part of the campaign, the Musical School of the Conservatory and "Our School" also refused to use plastic. They even visited the exhibition in Fabrika and dedicated their musical performances to the current plastic pollution. Not only is the Musical School of the Conservatory involved in the #SayNoToPlastic. Other motivated students from #7 Khashuri Public School, #1 Experimental Public School or #169 Public school are also very engaged with this subject.

Other companies such as the Plant Shop and Ceramic Studio 1300 both based in Fabrika have also joined the campaign by using non-plastic wrapping and packaging. The eco-friendly Ringo bag for dogs, which is a local based product also expressed itself to join the campaign and replaced the plastic bags with biodegradable ones. The local natural cosmetics brand Quartz offers its customers a multi-use ceramic packaging and a discount if you will bring the tin back.

As part of #SayNoToPlastic, CENN, through the USAID Waste Management Program, actively promotes raising public awareness of environment pollution with plastic. The organization spreads interesting facts about the global results of daily plastic consumption on the Facebook page of the Program.

Those interested in protecting the environment can take a photo of how they are replacing single-use plastic items with reusable alternatives, upload it onto social media with the #SayNoToPlastic title and tag the page @WMTRProgram.

With this campaign, everyone can contribute to protecting the environment. It is a part of the Waste Management Technology in Regions (WMTR) program implemented by CENN with the support of USAID. The program assists the Government of Georgia to modernize the country’s waste management sector and supports sustainable development and inclusive economic growth, ensuring responsible management of natural endowments that minimizing adverse impacts from waste on human health and natural resources.

18 November 2019 19:50