There is a huge island, seven times bigger than Korean Peninsula in the North Pacific Ocean. The island is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), a huge plastic trash island. According to an official GPGP study released in March 2018, the amount of plastic waste on the island is about 1.8 trillion pieces and weighs 80,000 tons. It is no longer news that plastic causes environmental pollution and threatens marine life. Eight million tons of plastic are flowing into the sea every year. Pictures of marine life suffering from plastic have raised alarm and fear, but it has not led to a major plastic ban. However, since the beginning of 2018 the government has been spearheading efforts to eliminate plastic. This is because of concerns that plastic can cause serious environmental pollution.
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) have an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) for selling tumblers and donating the profits. The name of this campaign is ‘No more Plastic Islands’. The purpose of the campaign is to reduce the amount of plastic use. To participate, someone posts a photo of their tumbler on SNS. They tag friends and challenge them to do the same within 48 hours. The extra money from the Plastic Free challenge is used to make new tumblers. They are sold at cafes and souvenir shops in JeJu Island. The proceeds from the sale will be sent to the WWF World Natural Fund, as well as environmental clean-up activities on Jeju Island and campaigns to promote the use of tumblers. The Plastic Free Challenge initially aimed for 10,000 hashtags, but internal meetings were held as the number of participants continued to grow. After these meetings, the goal was set at 20,000 hashtags and the plastic free challenge will be automatically terminated when 20,000 hashtags are reached. The end of the plastic free challenge will be announced via the official Instagram of No More Plastics Island.
|▲Publicity photo of ‘No more plastic challenge’|
Many celebrities, including model Park Se-ra, culinary researcher Raymond Kim, child actress Seo Yi-soo, and actress Kim Hye-soo, joined the campaign. Choi Hae-beom, president of Changwon University, also participated in this campaign. Choi Hae-beom was challenged to participate in this campaign by the president of Gyeongnam FC. He in turn challenged Kang Jung-mook, the head of Changshin University and Bae Eun-hee, the head of the Korea Industrial Complex Corporation.
Changwon University is recognized for its achievements in environmental conservation. The Ministry of Environment also gave Changwon University a prize for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy management. In other words, Changwon University is leading the conservation of the environment. Chai Hae-beom, the president of Changwon University said “It is time to reduce the use of disposable plastic and to practice separating recycled products in everyday life. We will do our best to fulfill the responsibilities of local national universities. Please use individual tumblers instead of disposable cups. I hope that
many people will participate in environmental preservation”.
By Park Jun-ho, reporter
<저작권자 © The Campus Journal, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>