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The petition is titled “let’s stop exporting our plastic waste”, it is addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and it is signed Lizzie A., a young English girl of nine years. It is because there is no age to act. Especially since it is tackling a very concrete problem. Looking around you will inevitably come across it: that cup of coffee, that radio, maybe even the fibers of your clothes … Plastic is ubiquitous and almost eternal. That’s the problem, and that’s the conclusion Lizzie came to, while she was taking a series of lessons on plastic, at school: how it’s produced, how its uses have multiplied in recent times. years, and how it usually ends up in the wild for lack of recycling.
Upon learning all this, the child is shocked. More than the others, more than her teacher expected. At home, she takes her mother’s tablet and types “plastic pollution”, learns even more, is shocked even more. She discovers that England produces 300 tons of plastic waste per day, 5 million tons per year according to parliament figures. And that this garbage is sent to Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, countries which no longer know what to do with it, piling it up, burning it, letting it slip into the sea, thus polluting their own resources.
9 year old Lizzie has started a petition to stop the UK from exporting its plastic waste
“I am learning about plastic pollution in school at the moment. I have always loved the oceans and want to be a marine biologist or ecologist when I am older.” https://t.co/vujMZkkt1X
– Change.org UK (@UKChange) January 14, 2021
What to do after you’ve said that? Lizzy first tried to file her petition on the UK parliament’s website, where only 10,000 signatures are needed to trigger a debate, but her proposal was turned down for duplication. She therefore chose the site change.org. It was Sunday, and, in full confinement, while the English have their minds occupied by the Covid epidemic, his cause has collected 85,000 signatures. “Unbelievable”, says the site manager to Guardian, “totally unexpected given the context”. Considering the subject, and considering the age of the petitioner.
But now, by reading the comments, we understand that those who signed did so not to leave the anger to a child. Because of course, we adults are well aware of this massive production of waste, but it no longer makes us angry. In any case not as much. And that’s perhaps what appeals the most in Lizzie’s story, this healthy, obvious outrage. Quite the opposite of a whim and with which we would do well, sometimes, to reconnect.