Peter Nitshke - Congregation Manager

Building Global Solutions to fight Ocean Plastic

Plastic Bank at the United Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya

Ocean Plastic and poverty are global problems that need global solutions. A study by Tearfund explored the connections of poverty and plastic pollution stating that poor people are the ones affected most by plastic pollution and ocean plastic.

Mismanaged plastic in shanty towns and waterways causes floods in rainy season and provide breeding places for pests and cause a high level of airborne diseases.

 

As the global plastic waste crisis is also impacting Biodiversity and affecting all of life on this planet, it was big on the agenda of this year’s United Nations General Assembly in Nairobi this March.

 

I had the great opportunity to present our new Interfaith Stewardship Program at the Faith for Earth side events, where more than 150 faith leaders from around the world representing all religions were present.

 

I was very encouraged by the positive feedback and the eagerness of many religious leaders to build relationships with us to explore partnerships. Dr. Abumoghli from the Faith for Earth initiative stated that 85% of all people worldwide are connected to a faith community. We want to harness the power of faith to contribute to a global solution to marine litter and poverty.

 

While the leaders of this world struggled in Nairobi to come up with a breakthrough resolution to solve the problem, civil society leaders, businesses and faith groups discussed and worked on the sidelines creating powerful bottom-up approaches to end the dreadful pollution of our planet.

 

For us at Plastic Bank, we built strong connections to Africa and found many new friends on this wonderful continent. Some of the leaders we met, like Rudolf from Eden’s Stewards, who are leading more than 30 churches already protecting biodiversity in Kenya and are collecting plastic. We were also impressed by Mariam, a leader from Nigeria, who is collecting plastic through their Muslim charity.

 

Our next step is to explore setting up a strong presence in Africa utilizing these connections into strong partnerships for creating a viable impact in many African countries, transforming lives and empowering communities.

 

Learn more about and join our Interfaith Stewardship Program!