Crismon, Redbird and Washington elementary schools have received free water filling stations, thanks to a donation from Plastic Ocean International’s Rethink. Refill. initiative.
The initiative, which is a partnership with Arizona-based firm Footprint, also provided 100 stainless steel reusable water bottles to each school.
“Rethink.Refill. is an opportunity to prepare the next generation with problem-solving skills to tackle the plastic pollution crisis, help protect global health and learn social entrepreneurship,” says Julie Andersen, global executive director of Plastic Oceans International. “Rethink.Refill. gives our kids a way to get involved in the solution.”
According to Plastic Oceans International, more than 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year, with single-use items comprising 50% of all plastic produced.
By replacing single-use plastic bottles with reusable containers and refilling them at water stations, students have a direct impact on reducing plastic pollution worldwide.
The water filling stations help students track exactly how much waste they are preventing from entering the environment through a “bottles saved” counter.
“Crismon Elementary feels blessed to have received a water refilling station, which we placed in the multipurpose room, where every student has physical education, and breakfast and lunch are served daily,” said Sandi Kuhn, principal of Crismon Elementary.
“We are planning a contest inviting Kindergarten to first-grade students to draw a picture about recycling, and second to sixth-grade students to write about recycling, where the winning entries will receive a reusable water bottle,” Kuhn said.
“Our water refilling station complements several school activities where our students help the environment, and reducing plastic pollution is another way the students can give back to make the world a better place,” Kuhn said.
Plastic Oceans seeks mission-aligned funding in order to implement Rethink.Refill. Companies have a vested interest to solve plastic waste by supporting youth education and strengthening the local communities where they operate.
Footprint sponsored the program for two of the three Mesa schools, because the Arizona-based tech company focuses on eliminating plastics through sustainable packaging, particularly from food and the oceans.
The program operates at five schools in the US and Mexico. Rethink.Refill. was recently implemented at three Mesa Public Schools, including Crismon Elementary, Ida Redbird Elementary and Washington Elementary in Mesa, Arizona.
Learn more about Rethink.Refill. at https://plasticoceans.org/rethink-refill.
About Plastic Oceans International
Plastic Oceans International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving plastic pollution. It aims to change consumer behavior, corporate and public policy, and foster solutions to the global crisis. More than 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually and increasing, yet more than 90% of all plastic is not recycled. At least eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year—equal to a garbage truck per minute. Science proves plastic pollutes the air, water and food chain, threatening human health, wildlife and the planet. Plastic Oceans informs, inspires and incites action to affect change with constructive films and digital content, complemented by advocacy, scientific research, education and awareness initiatives. Learn more at plasticoceans.org and on Facebook @PlasticOceans, Instagram @plasticoceans, Twitter @PlasticOceansUS and YouTube @PlasticOceansInternational.