Data shows that the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute. Plastic pollution is one of the biggest global problems, and it is accumulating on land and in the oceans. By 2025, an estimation of 100 million to 250 million metric tons of plastics can enter the ocean each year. Moreover, only 9% of plastic waste is recycled while 22% is mismanaged. 

It is a major problem because plastic does not degrade completely. It breaks down into particles that will enter animals. It could alter habitats and natural process, affecting people’s social mental and health being, as well as harming the climate. Plastic pollution could be reduced through social cooperation by the involvement of everyone and by thinking about the bigger scale alongside other environmental issues such as climate change and ecosystem degradation. 

On the 13th of October, Awaji Youth Federation welcomed Robin Lewis, an award-winning social entrepreneur based in Japan. Fellows participated in his interactive workshop which is designed to raise fellows’ awareness regarding plastic pollution, and the efforts that are needed to tackle the issue.

Fellows also had an opportunity to think of specific problems related to their projects and come up with solutions and possible business ideas to solve the problems. It was a huge pleasure for fellows to listen to his inspiring talk and participate in his fascinating workshop. 

Robin is a social entrepreneur, educator, and speaker. He is also the Representative Director of Social Innovation Japan, a platform for social good focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For 10+ years, Robin has worked with social enterprises, NGOs, and inter-governmental organizations. In 2020, he was recognized by M.I.T. Technology Review’s ‘Innovators Under-35’ Awards and in 2022, won Business Insider Japan’s ‘Beyond Millennials’ Award in the Circular Economy category. 

He is the Co-founder of mymizu, a platform to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics through the power of technology and community. It aims to spread awareness regarding the importance of reducing plastic consumption through workshops and seminars, as well as encouraging a transition from plastic bottles towards more sustainable lifestyles by providing a network of free water-refill stations around the world.