AwareWave Campaign Educates students on Plastic Waste Management

Abu Sufian

Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL), the country’s leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, in collaboration with Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) and Sunsilk, has taken a proactive stance in addressing the environmental crisis with the launch of the AwareWave campaign under their employee volunteering platform, Proyash.

Coinciding with the World Environment Day 2024, this pioneering campaign will engage with 1000 students of 10 schools across Chattogram and Dhaka from 2 to 6 June 2024. The initiative aimed not just to educate but to empower the next generation in the fight against plastic pollution.

Under this campaign, employees of Unilever Bangladesh, including Zaved Akhtar, Chairman and MD, UBL, and Zinnia Huq, Finance Director, UBL, led charge at Sher-E-Bangla Nagar Government Girls High School. Witnessing the pervasiveness of plastic underwater, Zaved Akhtar’s personal story from his marine diving adventure, was a stark reminder of the urgent need to address plastic pollution—a sentiment that resonated deeply with the young audience.

Following the opening, the learning session unfolded into a series of enlightening topics. The passionate volunteers tackled the issue of plastic’s non-degradability, highlighting the requirement of waste management, the 3Rs of waste management—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—and discussed practical ways students and teachers can contribute to effective plastic waste management in their daily lives.

To engage the brilliant minds, there was an interactive quiz time, where students answered questions on environmental conservation. Each correct answer was rewarded with a plant, symbolising a commitment to nurturing a greener future.

One of the highlights of the event was the demonstration of a refill machine, an innovative solution introduced by Unilever to reduce the creation of new plastic packaging.

Zaved Akhtar, Chairman and MD, UBL, said, “One of the biggest environmental challenges we are grappling with is the large amount of plastic packaging that is mismanaged and ends up in the environment. As a consumer goods manufacturer, we use plastic in our packaging, and that is why we have identified plastic as a key sustainability priority in our new business strategy— the Growth Action Plan.

At Unilever, we have been using our innovation capabilities to find new, scalable solutions to reduce and ultimately end plastic pollution through reduction, circulation and collaboration. As a part of our strategy, we designed the AwareWave campaign to engage our employees to educate the youth on plastic waste management and the ways to tackle plastic pollution. During the session today I was inspired to see the enthusiasm and eagerness among the students to learn and make a difference. Together we can foster a movement that addresses this challenge and empowers each individual to be part of the solution.”

The AwareWave campaign is a testament to the power of education in catalysing environmental change. By engaging youth, the initiative not only spreads knowledge but fosters a sense of responsibility and empowerment among students.

By providing opportunities for employees to make a difference through Proyash, Unilever Bangladesh fosters a workplace culture where purposeful careers are cultivated, and individuals are empowered to create positive change in the world. Through such engaging initiatives, Unilever Bangladesh reaffirms its commitment to sustainability and community engagement, riding the wave of change towards a more sustainable future.

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