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SMALL CHANGES – BIG IMPACT

Are you also tired to see beaches covered in plastic? To see another video of a turtle or dolphin choking in plastic going viral? And do you want to provent that in 2050 there’ll be more plastic than fish in our oceans?

Hi, my name is Joshua.  And I founded The Bamboovement to take on plastic pollution on our planet. How? By replacing daily used plastic products by sustainable bamboo. It all started with a seagull.

Later I’ll be telling you more about it – and you’ll find out how one piece of beached plastic came in really handy..

But first some numbers. Keep on reading, even though it may scare you a little.

Plastic soup

While you’re reading this, 5.25 trillion pieces of macro- and micro plastics are currently littering our oceans. Making up for 60 – 90% of all marine debris. Every single day 8 million pieces are being added – almost 10.000 every second. Animals are suffering– every year, as a direct result of ocean plastic, more than one million seabirds and 100.000 other sea animals die.

But plastic is being recycled?

Unfortunately, in Europe only 33% of all the plastic is being recycled. Worldwide it’s even worse: just 20%. A lot of plastic products are not made to be recycled, like coffee cups, straws, bags and cutlery. Those are the products we want to replace once and for all by sustainable and 100% biodegradable bamboo products. Every product of The Bamboovement contributes to making our world a little more clean and beautiful once again.

Like many of my generation – maybe you too? – I felt like a global citizen from an early age. Which lead me to take a gap year when I was eighteen to do a solo worldtrip. Traveling around the world while trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life didn’t seem like a bad idea.

I’ve always been my best self when I’d be right next to the ocean. That’s why I spent most of my time during my trip next to the coast. Preferably with a surfboard under my feet or a dive tank on my back. Every day I met lots of new people, willing to share their stories and views on life.

The beautiful thing was: they were all full of stories and dreams. Like Simon. An Indonesian man that had built his own restaurant out of bamboo, because he discovered how strong and sustainable it was.

Simon discovered the following advantages about bamboo

  • Grows super fast

    Bamboo is a super-fast grower: it can grow up to a meter a day!

  • Stores CO2

    Bamboo stores more CO2 than whichever kind of hardwood

  • Makes soil fertile

    Bamboo prevents soil erosion and makes the soil fertile again

All those people and their stories were truly inspiring

But despite this I didn’t return with a set plan.  So, I decided to study management- and organizaton sciences in Amsterdam. I kept traveling until graduation. During those travels I came to a dishearted realization. No matter where I found myself – in the Himalayas, the salt flats in Bolivia, a deserted tropical island or far out in the Sahara – literally everywhere was plastic. And not just a little. There was no getting away from plastic pollution.

Eyeopener

In the summer of 2018, we witnessed something which left me with no choice than to take action.  We did a roadtrip through Southern-Europe in a little van. We arrived on a beautiful beach in Galicia. Even this pristine spot was littered with plastic. There was too much for two people to clean up but nonetheless we did our daily beach clean-ups.

We cleaned up kilo’s of plastic: empty bottles, ropes in all kinds of colors, broken toys.. One of those days something pretty heartbroken happened: in between all the beached plastic, we found a dying baby seagull. The poor bird was gasping for air and was too weak to fly. There was a little bit of luck: a plastic crate had washed up right next to him. We put the bird in there and we transported it a few kilometres to the other side of the beach with lifeguards. They told us that the little bird had probably too much plastic in its belly and was unable to fly. They’d take him to the vet and that’s the last thing we heard. We can only hope now that he’s happily flying across the ocean – catching fish and finding a partner.

And then: The Bamboovement

I don’t know, maybe I had to be directly confronted with the consequences of plastic pollution. One thing is certain: the poor little seagull encouraged me to take action. And I had to think of Simon from Indonesia again, with his bamboo and his dreams about a sustainable world.

It was the start of The Bamboovement. With this movement we want to inspire people and organizations to replace daily used plastic products by sustainable bamboo alternatives.

Not just with inspiration but by actually offering alternatives.

Because our world can easily live without all those plastic products that we have gotten so used to over the past decades.