Leading Plastic Pollution Prevention in Nigeria: Educator Spotlight on Clinton Ezeigwe

Aug 2, 2023 | Classroom Activities, Community News, Educator Spotlight

Wayfinder Society is for environmental educators who believe in the power of collective action. It is an online platform hosting a robust offering of classroom and teaching resources that makes it easy for educators to create a fun, dynamic, and engaging classroom and to inspire their students through environmental awareness and action. Every other month, we highlight an educator in our network.

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Clinton Ezeigwe is an environmental justice educator who initiated the Preventing Marine Plastic Pollution in Nigeria (PREMPPiN) project that is focused on using education to tackle plastic pollution in the community.

The main goal of this project is to empower the community to live more healthy, sustainable lives through deeper understanding of the harms of plastic pollution. With Nigeria being on the United Nations’ list of top 10 biggest plastic polluters (largely due to proliferation of plastic producing factories and increased demand for plastic products by the public), Clinton’s personal relationship to this issue inspired him to take action in more ways than one. 

In addition to starting the PREMPPiN project, Clinton also runs an after-school program for secondary school students. This program spans 6 weeks with 8 classes each covering a different topic on marine plastic pollution. The first 5 classes are meant to give students a deeper understanding of plastic pollution and the many ways it affects their communities. During this time, Clinton leads students on two different litter picking field trips with the aim for students to collect data and personal experience before they go deeper into the program. 

After a foundation is built, class 6 and 7 are designed to help students create a product or project. The last class consists of the students presenting their project. Clinton says that this program is just as much about educating people about plastic pollution as much as it is an opportunity for them to realize they have a voice and can be a part of the solution. At Algalita, we firmly believe that initiatives like these inspire the next generation to seek solutions and work towards healing our planet. 

In addition to his work within his local community, Clinton contributes to international efforts, including both working on Wayfinder Society projects and participating in the Project Green Course Fellowship of Turning Green based in Marin County, California. He is also working with us right now on our current project: creating the The Plastic Ocean Classroom Experience Guide. This project brings Capt. Charles’ beloved book, “Plastic Ocean,” to life by working with a group of educators to create individual classroom lessons for the 16 chapters within the book. The culmination of their work will be presented during the Introducing the Plastic Ocean Guide event on Wednesday, September 26th from 4-5 pm PT. 

Since 2019, we’ve had the privilege of working with Clinton on several projects and have been consistently inspired by his commitment to serving his and the global community, particularly the youth, through his programs. We couldn’t be more excited to show our appreciation by awarding him our first Educator Mini-Grant since launching Wayfinder Society this past May. Clinton’s leadership and dedication to educating the next generation is exactly what we need and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate Clinton as the inaugural awardee. His efforts make envisioning a world where plastic is unthinkable that much easier!

Students in Educator Ezeigwe's afterschool program about plastic pollution.

Educator Ezeigwe of Preventing Marine Plastic Pollution in Nigeria teaches students in his afterschool program about plastic pollution.

Students tally waste for a brand audit.

Students tally waste for a brand audit.

Educator Ezeigwe of Preventing Marine Plastic Pollution in Nigeria, and his students pose with collected plastic water bottles.

Clinton and his students pose with collected plastic water bottles.