On October 6, GEORGIA TODAY attended a much-awaited event: the award ceremony of the ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ competition.
In January 2023, CENN (Caucasus Environmental NGO Network) launched a competition for companies and organizations with one main goal: to encourage them to implement sustainable management practices and to set an example for further practices to change environmental behaviors.
10 companies participated in the Beat Plastic Pollution competition: The Norwegian and the US embassies in Georgia, the Georgian Farmers Association, the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace, Silk Hospitality, the Sachkhere Youth Center, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Bolt in Georgia, Peace Corps Georgia and APM Terminals Poti.
The awards ceremony was organized by CENN and supported by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Prevent Waste Alliance, and the Center for Behavior and Environment (RARE), in partnership with Procredit bank and Business Media Georgia (BMG).
The ceremony started with an introductory speech by Solomon Pavliashvili, the Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, who pointed out the fact that plastic reduction is a big challenge for Georgia on its path to cease contaminating the environment with plastic by 2024 through a program of reduction. Pavliashvili noted that there is a lack of participation in such activities among citizens, and said he considers such competitions really helpful to encourage everyone to act, from the private sector to the public.
CENN for its part highlighted that micro-plastic is a problem, not only bad for the environment but also for the human body, meaning there is really a need to prevent, reduce, and recycle. In order to do that, Nino Shavgulidze, deputy director of CENN, emphasized the importance of helping to change behaviors and ways of thinking through activities like the competition.
The different contestants presented the strategies they had come up with to reduce their plastic use, mainly seeing them ridding themselves of single-use plastics, recycling, and establishing more eco-friendly practices.
The three winners of the Beat Plastic Pollution competition were the Georgian Farmers Association, the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace and the National Democratic Institute. Each received a certificate of acknowledgment and warm congratulations.
The Beat Plastic Pollution competition and award event are clearly a source of hope for the future, since it is a huge step locally that could, it is hoped, lead to larger changes in Georgia.