Project image card - click to select this 1 hour project. Image shows people at a march holding signs, one saying "the is no planet b"
1 Hour

Photo credit: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Your mission

Learn what a social movement is, and how they work, by learning about the global movement to end plastic pollution.

Time Commitment: 1 Hour

Range of Impact: Global

This Action was created in partnership with Break Free From Plastic.

Why this Action is impactful

There is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution, and you’re a part of it! Getting to know the big picture is key to finding out how you can best contribute with your unique story, skills, and interest.

What to know before getting started

As discussed in the video, How to Understand Power, ideas, numbers (a.k.a. lots of people), and social norms are all forms of power. Social movements bring these three forces together to create change. Social movements have happened throughout human history. They are essentially how people organize around an idea, or belief, and work to make it a reality. They are made up of a large group of people and/or organizations, and they exist to create or resist a certain change in society. They could be focusing on a political change, religious belief, cultural ideas or practices, or environmental issues.  From the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the LBGTQ+ rights movement, the Sunrise Movement, the Movement for Black Lives, to the Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) movement, they all are about changing the status quo. 

One part of human nature is to resist change as we get older. The youngest generations can often bring a new perspective, key to helping us all envision better future. Out of the need for positive change, social movements are often led by young people. 

Formed by many organizations including both big and small, non-profit and for-profit, near the ocean and inland, the BFFP movement is made up of a diverse group of individuals and communities from around the world. People and groups have come together from many perspectives, backgrounds, and with a broad range of goals and motivations. This includes communities working and living in the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction, plastic production, and waste disposal and incineration, who often experience environmental injustices, and environmental racism from the industries built around plastics (learn more about this here). It also includes organizations addressing education, politics, economics, upstream solutions, mitigation strategies, advancing environmental monitoring, researching human health impacts, and much more. 

All together, the people of this movement are challenging society’s current relationship with plastic, a material that became popular and ubiquitous during the lifetimes of the previous generation. Now that the impacts of plastic on people and the planet are very clear, the movement has grown, galvanized, and gained a lot of public support. As a member of the movement, Algalita (the nonprofit organization powering Wayfinder Society) is thrilled to have so many people to work alongside of.

What to do

Explore the Break Free From Plastic website to learn more about how the #BFFP movement is organized! Make sure to check out the Campaigns Page to learn about the different strategies that people in this movement are using to break free from plastic.

More information

  • Movements need diversity of people, of backgrounds, identities, thoughts and skills, to be truly successful! You can contribute to a movement in many ways, but contributing in a way that is authentic to you is most powerful. Your unique story, personality, interests and skills combine to make your involvement in the movement something no one else can provide! 
  • Wayfinder Society is a great tool to help you explore and discover what kind of things you’re interested in, what challenges you to grow, and what you excel at! By doing different Actions, you’re already contributing to this movement! Thank you!!
  • It can be easy to get overwhelmed with everything going on, and it can also feel great to know that there are so many people working on this issue and moving towards positive change! When we get overwhelmed from the news or challenges with our individual work, it can really help us to connect with like-minded people in the movement to regain motivation and inspiration!
  • Follow the movement on social media at @breakfreefromplastic.
  • You can learn more and join as an individual here to show your support and stay up to date.

Track your contribution

To submit your work and get recognized for your contribution to your community, complete the form below. If we approve your submission, you’ll be awarded 1 Hour.

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