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Tackling Single-Use Plastic in Miami Beach

Youth are leading the way in combating single-use plastics

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This blog is written by Victoria SanJuan, Victoria is a passionate ocean lover and professional scuba diver who is currently studying biology at Florida Atlantic University. As the Communications Intern for Big Blue & You, she worked on newsletter composition, social media branding, and content generation.  She believes in being the change you wish to see in the world and inspiring others to care for our earth. 

As younger generations come along, they develop their own priorities and face new challenges. At this time in our history, younger generations are concerned about their futures on the planet, threatened by the climate crisis, plastic pollution and other environmental dangers. Many young people have been told that they can’t do anything to solve these problems because the problems are much bigger than they are—or that they’re too young to really have an impact for change. But young activists think otherwise.

Miami Beach is a hotspot for tourism—and for single-use plastics.

Litter from single-use plastics is suffocating the city’s beaches and marine life. This summer, a group of motivated, and very impressive, high school students have been hungry to change that.

These aspiring young conservationists, called Big Blue Crew’s “Plastic Free MVPs”, met and contacted businesses about their use of plastic products. The MVPs proposed sustainable solutions for the establishments. Their goal is to gradually reduce Miami Beach businesses’ plastic practices and prove that sustainability can be beneficial to business owners’ wallets and improve the health of the local environment. Altogether, they have enrolled more than 10 businesses in less than a month. The future will be brighter if a program like this can run year-round!

Businesses that pledge to use sustainable products are promoted by Debris Free Oceans and the City of Miami Beach on social media. They receive a plaque, which they can exhibit to customers, that states they are an Ocean-Friendly Establishment  and are featured on Miami Beach’s ocean-friendly business website.

This initiative was developed through the passion and dedication of Ocean Conservancy, Big Blue & You and Debris Free Oceans to promote the Shores Forward partnership with Miami Beach. #PlasticFreeMB is a promising step in the sustainability movement for Miami Beach.

This has been a significant shift in the youth taking more control of their futures.

Big Blue & You is honored to train and guide these teenage activists to accomplish this important challenge. We hope that the local youth can inspire other potential activists to continue advocating for change in their home cities. Together, we can position Miami Beach as a plastic-free role model.

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