The tide on plastic with reusable bottles and youth education

For Clare Thomson, ex-pat, teacher, and founding father of UK-registered charity WA CUP, that moment got here in 2017 within the coastal Vietnamese metropolis of Phan Thiet, her domestic earlier than transferring to Phuket in 2018. A keen surfer, Clare might often head to nearby Mui Ne Beach after faculty, joining several kitesurfers and kayakers taking advantage of the white sands and sturdy winds. But as the tides changed, waves of plastic rolled in, spilling huge amounts of de­bris throughout the seaside.

These waves added Clare a few­aspect else, too: the uncomfortable reali­sation that her unmarried-use plastics have been headed for the equal aquatic fate. Subse­quent studies into answers spotlight­ed a gap within the market for a reusable bottle but with an educational motion at paintings behind it. And so WA CUP – a play on phrases of ‘awaken’ – became born.

As a now not-for-income business enterprise and a solo task, the early tiers of WA CUP were a steep but, in the long run, rewarding studying curve for Clare as she tested one of a kind substances in a Goldilocks-style system. BPA-loose plastic, notwithstanding being reusable, continues to be, nicely, plastic. Alumini­um has an environmentally unfriendly production system and is liable to dents. But stainless-steel? Just right.

The most recent bottle layout is smooth, and silver continues hot drinks warm and bloodless liquids cold and is embellished with the WA CUP brand, a sea turtle drawn by way of Clare and digitized with her aid graphic de­signer brother. The sea turtle holds par­ticular significance. It’s often regarded because the animal maximum deeply impacted with the aid of plastic pollutants, mistaking plastic luggage for its favored meals source of jellyfish, an frequently deadly appeal.

More than a line of bottles – and re­usable cotton tote bags – WA CUP is a grassroots movement, and all proceeds cross towards educating kids across Southeast Asia approximately the harms of unmarried-use plastics through instructional sources designed, the usage of her coaching experience, to be no longer only informative however attractive and interactive too.

On an international scale, simply 5 nations make up 50% of the globe’s mismanaged plastic waste (China, Indonesia, the Phil­ippines, Vietnam, and Thailand), and WA CUP bottles have reached schools across each of those countries – with the excep­tion of Indonesia – in addition to the UK and Spain. Bottles have coated the desks of her college students in Vietnam and Thailand, who have jumped on board, even putting in their own eco-initiatives and, in some cases, running closer to making their schools’ unmarried-use plastic lose.

Clare also encourages students to map out local fill-up stations, which dis­pense ingesting water for as low as B1 a liter and is lobbying for extra opposite osmosis machines at the island to keep away from the paradoxical outcome of WA CUP-ers filling their chrome steel bottles with water from unmarried-use plastic bottles.

Her efforts were regarded and endorsed using Eco Thailand, a founda­tion that brings collectively and promotes eco-aware firms, and WA CUP sits proudly along some of the different chosen inns, animal welfare organisa­tions, and network organizations.

Waking up to plastic pollution is one thing. However, the usage of your spare time and re­resources to instigate exchange on your adop­tive u. S. And beyond? That definitely is something to be commended.

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