Social Campaign against Plastic Pollution Project
Social, Campaign, against, Plastic, Pollution, Project
Plastic pollution is the immense accumulation of plastic particles and objects like the microbeads, bags, and bottles in the environment that has adverse effects on humans, wildlife, and wildlife habitats. The campaign seeks to enlighten individuals on the adverse impacts of plastic pollution in their environment and productivity.
Besides, the campaign will communicate the sources of plastic pollution, especially human activities that vastly contribute to plastic pollution. With the growing world’s population, the human garbage produced by people also continues to increase at the sale rate (Henderson 2018).
The accumulation of these products has significantly led to an increased amount of plastic pollution. Plastics are composed of toxic pollutants that have the potential to harm the environment in the firm of water, air, and also lad pollution.
The campaign is demanding in different aspects ranging from cost, professionals needed, seeking campaign warranty from the relevant authorities, and reaching the vast population targeted. For this reason, it is necessary to collaborate with other organizations with the other organizations that either have in environmental conservation or those that voluntarily fund the campaign.
The program will work with the National Audubon Society, an organization that aims at conserving and restoring natural ecosystems. The Forest Stewardship Council that operates on a global basis will also aid. The campaign program will be funded by the ministry of environment and other non-governmental organizations.
The social campaign is based on the recorded increase in environmental pollution, with 20% of the cases occur in the form of plastic pollution. The data from the World Environmental Organization shows that as of January 2019, there has been a rise of 12.5% in the case of plastic pollution and thus attributes to the increase in the production and use of plastic materials globally.
The campaign is aimed at educating the target population on the effects of reckless disposal of plastic materials, their impact on the air, water, and human lives. The campaign will also focus on highlighting the forms of plastic pollutant agents. By so doing, the campaign will be in a position to reduce plastic pollution by 15% by 2021 (Bergmann, Tekman & Gutow 2018).
The campaign will incorporate the fact that there has been a gradual increase in the plastic waste disposal and will further propose initiatives to mitigate plastic wastes.
The area of focus of the campaign is studying the behavior of the population on how they conduct themselves in their setting, especially their means of disposing plastic waste. By doing, it will be easier to determine the size of the population that adheres to correct environmental practices and thus can recommend the corrective measures. The definition of the resource mobilization strategy and the target audience is the primary approach of the social campaign.
Step 2; Situation Analysis (SWOT)
Some organizational strengths will facilitate the campaign plan. Among them are the professional leadership that is available from the campaign team and the sponsoring organizations. For the plan to be successful, there must be a competent team of leaders. The plan will maximize the expertise and knowledge of environmental conservation from those leaders.
The other strength is the reliable funding from the NGOs that support the campaign. The funds will facilitate the success of the campaign operations and acquiring the essential campaign materials.
Besides, some organizational weaknesses ought to be minimized. One of them is a lack of involvement from the top management in developing the campaign plan. It might be hard to have inclusive participation of all the stakeholders from the members of the campaign team and the sponsoring organizations (Bull 2016).
Confusing campaign policies and strategies might hinder the success of the plan and its execution. Different stakeholders propose the policies and strategies that might end up causing contradiction and conflict of interest.
Environmental opportunities are the external factors that are likely to contribute to the success of the campaign plan. The campaign plan will optimize the anticipated cooperation from the target population. There are many visible disposal sites where waste products can be assessed to know the most common types of materials disposed. This will thus help in getting the statistical knowledge of plastic pollution in the target areas. Moreover, it is easy to identify plastic pollutants and materials in the environment.
The plan ought to prepare for several environmental threats, including climate changes in the region that might affect the manner of conducting the campaign. They majorly consist of the external factors that the one has no control over. Adverse climatic or weather conditions like the rain might affect the interactions with the target population. The plan has to consider alternative approaches in case of such threats.
Before the actual campaign, the target population has to sensitized the upcoming event and the expectations that are required from them. Focus groups have to be organized to get the views from the audience on the areas that should be addressed by the campaign.
Moreover, efforts have to made to identify the areas that have experienced the adverse effects of plastic pollution. The policies, strategies, and findings from a similar campaign done in the past have to be identified to aid in the planning process.
Step 3: Select target audiences
The primary target audience we will be targeting is college students, specifically those studying at OU, as it is a sensible reach for the resources available. The approximate size of the OU student community is 30,000, so even if our campaign impacts 25% of those targeted, it will be a huge success.
The demographics of this group varies greatly, as OU can be proud to boast a vibrant, multi-cultural melting pot of students. From our personal research, we can estimate that most students reside in Oklahoma or Texas, however students also come from other states in the USA.
There is also a large international community, with students coming to study from all over the globe e.g. Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. The large majority of students fall between the ages of 18-25, however such culturally different upbringings means that many people hold different values; a potential barrier for our campaign.
To illustrate, some students may come from cultures with a high-power distance. This means they are willing to accept the power of the higher levels and what is being told to them e.g. they will follow campaign rules. Others come from cultures with a lower power distance, meaning all levels of society are on a more even playing field, and rules and regulations are not so readily accepted. The student community has been chosen as we believe students are an impressionable group.
As students ourselves, we can all agree that our values are still changing as we grow and figure out what kind of people we want to be. We also think that students are very aware of the importance of the environment, as we have grown up in an era where the technology available allows us to see the impact of pollution on our planet, and we therefore hope that students will be more willing to change their behaviour. Potential secondary target audiences could be the teaching body at OU, which we could classify as an upper-stream audience.
Step 4: Behavior objectives and target goals
Our main goal of the campaign is to reduce the purchasing and usage of single use plastics in order to better the environment, for reasons stated in part 1. We want our target audience to think conscientiously when buying, using and disposing of plastic.
We don’t believe there are great barriers to overcome in terms of the technical difficulty of the desired behaviour, however we understand that ‘old habits die hard’, and the target audience will be needed to obtain the special knowledge of the damage their current behaviour is doing in order to make the necessary changes. The main behaviours we want our target audience to carry out are
- Use reusable carrier bags at the shops
- Limit the use of single use plastics, for example substitute a plastic water bottle for a reusable one and refusing straws at restaurants
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycletheir plastic
- Encourage friends and family to adopt these behaviours.
Certain behavioural beliefs intended to arise out of the campaign is the belief that the small changes on each individual scale can contribute to a much larger, positive outcome in the community. We want people to understand that adopting the intended behaviour of cutting down on their plastic use, can really make a difference on a larger scale for the future.
As for normative beliefs, we want people to lead by example, so that others in society can follow and the desired behaviour of our campaign can eventually become the norm in society and those deviating are the ones harming the environment by not caring about their contribution to plastic pollution.
Whilst planning our campaign, the importance of SMART goals may not be underestimated. When thinking about the quantifiable and measurable goals of our campaign, we decided it was not enough to simply raise awareness of the issue, but we want people to act on this increased awareness and change behaviour. It is also very difficult to measure changed beliefs within a community. Therefore, our quantifiable and measurable goals are as follows;
- To increase the number of students using a re-fillable water bottle by 50%
- To increase the number of students using re-usable carrier bags by 50%
Other non-quantifiable goals include increasing people’s knowledge of plastic pollution so that they can go on to teach others.
Step 5: Identify Barriers, Benefits, Motivators, and Competition
We understand it is difficult for people to make everyday changes, even if they are small ones, as habits are hard to break; especially without a good known reason. Some potential barriers include
- Economic – such as buying reusable bags and water bottles, as they are usually more expensive than single use ones
- Social – adopting these behaviours may not fit in with the ‘status quo’ of friend groups, therefore it may be difficult to make individuals change behaviour if it is mocked by peers
- Awareness – if people are not aware of the damage of plastic pollution, they won’t change their behaviour
- Knowledge – some people may have been informed that if plastic is placed in recycling, it will still go to the rubbish dump. This is not true, and this misinformation must be corrected
- Attitudinal – some people simply do not care about the damage that plastic pollution is doing to our environment. They may not think that the effects of plastic pollution affect them. The aim of this campaign is to highlight the issues and change this damaging perception
The benefits included in cutting down on plastic consumption include
- Individual scale- buying a reusable water bottle will save money in the long run. For a small price to pay, reusable water bottles can last years and with multiple water fountains on campus, it can be more convenient than finding a shop to buy water. Reusable carrier bags are often much larger and stronger than the plastic bags offered at stores such as Walmart and Ross.
There is less chance of the bag breaking, and more items can be put into these bags, making the transportation of purchased items more convenient- from shop to desired destination [eg home].
- Societal benefits – reducing the amount of plastic pollution in the oceans, thus saving endangered wildlife species that are negatively affected by the plastic. Plastic also takes hundreds of years to decompose, therefore reducing the use of it will reduce the waste levels on our planet.
Disposing of plastic effectively increases improves air quality, as harmful chemicals are not released into the atmosphere, therefore health in the community may be improved.
Additional incentives could include
- A charge of 5 cents per plastic bag needed at supermarkets
- Fines for students on campus who do not recycle their plastic
- Free food coupons for students who invest in a reusable water bottle
- Machines that give rewards [e.g. money, coupons] to students who put their plastic into them
As for influential others, the campaign will focus on the sportsmen and women of OU. For example, at football and basketball games, the campaign message will be incorporated into the games via the players and mascots, and banners around the stadium.
These people have been chosen as they have a large fan base at OU and many students look up to them and follow their example. The competition to the social campaign is shops and business’, who give out plastic bags and straws without people asking. The food giants are the biggest culprits of this because they pack bags at the supermarket checkout automatically, and generally use one bag per item.
Bergmann, M., Tekman, M. B., & Gutow, L. (2017). Sea change for plastic pollution. Nature, 544(7650), 297-297.
Bull, J. W., Jobstvogt, N., Böhnke-Henrichs, A., Mascarenhas, A., Sitas, N., Baulcomb, C., … & Carter-Silk, E. (2016). Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: A SWOT analysis of the ecosystem services framework. Ecosystem services, 17, 99-111.
Henderson, L. (2018). Telling stories about (micro) plastic pollution: Media images, public perceptions and social change.
McNicholas, G., & Cotton, M. (2019). Stakeholder perceptions of marine plastic waste management in the United Kingdom. Ecological Economics, 163, 77-87.