Organisation: Vale Youth Service
Project: Youth Action Groups Plastic Waste and environmental issues.
Contact: Alex Thomas
The need for the project has arisen by young peoples heightened awareness of the environmental issues we all face. Two local Youth Action Groups, Llantwit Major and Penarth came together to collaborate on the project as they felt strongly that they should play an active role in addressing the issue of waste plastic in their communities.
The group established several aims for the project:
- To learn about environmental issues caused by not recycling plastic
- To learn about the different types of plastic what can and can’t be recycled
- To look at increase the reusing of plastics, and promote more green space
- To promote team building and working on collaborative ideas led by young people
In January 2019 both Youth Action Groups came together to explore common theme in the issues that mattered to them, working on a collaborative piece of work. Environmental Issues was voted on following on from pieces of work both groups had done individually in their local areas.
Single use plastics and plastic recycling was decided through a consultation workshop. Young people requested a better understanding of what recycling is undertaken in their area and accredited training was delivered around the topic. Training commenced in April 2019 with a residential event held in June 2019. The two groups visited the Vale’s Recycling centre in March 2020 to learn more about the process in the local authority.
On completion of accreditation site visit the two groups intended to form an action plan to work on the issues in the Vale, unfortunately due to Covid 19 this work had been put on hold. The groups have since contributed to the Local Authorities Project Zero consultation looking specifically at Waste Management.
(Project Zero – The Vale Council’s Climate Change Action plan. Project Zero brings together the wide range of work and opportunities available to tackle the climate emergency, reduce the Council’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and encourage others to make positive changes).
The groups engaged in several consultation activities. These included:
- Idea’s carousels,
- diamond ranking,
- How, how, how?
This was facilitated in an inclusive environment for young people to share their ideas and suggestions. Inclusivity is a key issue for the groups. YAG groups have a code of conduct which ensures all YAG members are treated with respect and are ensured of being afforded equal opportunities. Session plans were developed as a result and shared with youth workers, detailing activities planned.
The time management with young people was an issue and we did need to encourage them to complete accreditation plans which has impacted on the piece of work both groups collaborate on. The health Pandemic has also impacted on this piece of work. However the patience of all concerned has improved the situation and all young people have achieved an accreditation for their efforts in the project.
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