RECYCLE EMPTY MILK BAGS
During my TOK exhibition assessment , I came across Plastic above 50-51 microns and the issues of recycling circulating it . I decided to opt this as my third object for the TOK exhibition where I compared two different types of plastic bags – a plastic bag less than 50 microns and the other one more than 50 microns and discussed the impact both of the bags had on the environment . Following this , I looked around and realized that milk bags are made up of good quality plastic with 51 microns plus thickness and are 100 percent recyclable . I searched online for the same and the impact they have had on the environment for decades if they end up in a dumpster and not in a recycler unit. I began with 5 milk bags which are regularly dropped at our house every day. I cut each one of them – empty them – wash them inside and out and then stick it on the kitchen walls. I did this proces everyday and informed and requested my relatives to do the same . At the end of the week, I was able to collect a substantial amount of empty milk bags. Then , I proceeded further and created a video where I addressed the same issue and explained the procedure of cutting , emptying , washing and sticking the milkbag . I sent it to the different groups in my society and to the nearby societies . I also contacted the tea vendors to simply give the used and emptied milk bags on a weekly basis . I got unexpected responses from people around , who were ready to contribute to this initiative. Within a short span of time , I was able to collect 1780 milk bags from everyone . I contacted the city’s recyclar which is under the city’s municipality . They visited us and weighed the bags and took them in their collection van. This is an ongoing process where I am still receiving people’s calls around the city .
For this CAS project , I wanted more like minded people to collaborate with me. Therefore , a few of my friends decided to help me out and collaborate in the project where we would spread awareness about the dreadful consequences of throwing away empty milk bags. With this collaboration , we decided to practice it first at our own homes and then proceed further to the school where we would create a google form asking people interested in this initiative to collect and drop off their empty milk bags . Then a collection point would be assigned in the school premises where a bin would be installed for the staff members and students to drop the plastic bags. By doing so , we are trying to collect as many empty plastic milk bags from households as possible and give the collection to the recycler .
The learning outcomes associated with this CAS Project are as follows :
LO1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
I am generally a very camera conscious person and in the beginning of the project where I had to record myself to explain people about the recycle milk bags initiative , it was out of my comfort zone . Social Media has become a very important component in the recent years and if you want to make a change , it is considered to be one of the most powerful platforms to convey your message to the masses . Unfortunately , this was again a difficult aspect of the project for me and I became very skeptical for the responses which I would receive . But , at the same time I realised that my concern and passion for the cause became my strengths and this helped me to overcome my weakness of connecting with other people via social media.
Being aware of the problem and the weakness gives more room for the solutions to pour in and talking about it with my friends and family members helped me more .
This CAS PROJECT made me more confident on the social media where I would connect with like minded people who are equally concerned and passionate about the cause and its aftermath .
LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken , developing new skills in the process .
Connecting with strangers who wanted to know more about the project made me very nervous at its initiation . Since I have never done this before , like being in front of the camera and explaining people about my project , meanwhile coming in contact with numerous folks was out of my comfort zone . I was able to overcome this challenge with the help of my friends and family members who believed in the idea very much like I did , and that passion and concern motivated me to finally overcome this self created obstacle . I am much more relieved after having overcome this challenge and I feel it is important to indulge in unexpected , out of your comfort zone tasks often . This helps one build resilience and provides a broader horizon for the particular subject / task .
LO3 : Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience –
Initiating a project such as this required a concrete planning where every step of the procedure had to be defined clearly . The first step was to research and collect as much information as possible on recyclable milk bags and the initiatives which were taken before to improve the conditions . The hazardous consequences of plastics reaching the dump yard was already ingrained in us since grade 6 , therefore this required more of an action plan rather than an advocate one . Also I searched for a local recycler nearby who could collect the empty plastic milk bags and and recycle it. The second step was to try it by ourselves in our respective households to check whether the process was convenient and could become a habit in the future . Upon realizing that it is undoubtedly an amazingly simple process , I immediately planned to record a video urging the society members to do the same . To gather more like minded people and initiate this in the school as well , my friend and I decided to create posters and flyers conveying the same and create a google form for those interested in this project .
LO4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experience
This initiative is a never ending project as milk is a necessary commodity , so the consumption via the milk bags is always going to be present . Henceforth , daily consumption should lead to daily collection of the same . When a considerable quantity would get collected , then the recycler would come in , weigh the total weight , collect it and then recycle it. Apart from that , another key aspect of our project is to spread as much as awareness as possible . This would be commenced by posters and flyers spread across sharing the information on the aftermath of plastic .
L05 :Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
Working in a team has been advantageous to the project in numerous ways. Different ideas with different perspectives and a variety of solutions for a same problem always benefits the group working collaboratively . We explored different ways with which we could execute our plan in the school premises and spread awareness across .
LO6 :Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance :
Plastic has been a part of our lives now and we cannot even imagine some of our basic everyday needs without one , but the problem lies with the correct way of disposal and the consequences . Milk bags can be seen in almost every household and are of 51 plus microns thickness . These plastic bags should not be thrown off in the garbage with the rest of the waste , instead it should be directed towards the recycling unit where it will be recycled as it should and not add into the existing plastic waste which will be either dumped in the earth , thrown away in the water bodies or incinerated . These processes of disposal will contribute to land , water , and air pollution respectively .Indiscriminate disposal of plastics on land and open air burning can lead to the release of toxic chemicals into the air causing public health hazards. Pollution and irresponsible disposal of plastic waste is indeed a global issue and of a greater significance . Climate Change has recently come into the limelight of the politicians , media , and celebrities due its negative repercussions and it is been discussed at almost all the international forums between countries . This initiative is to instigate a small step towards change and more participation will lead to more ideas and better results. Henceforth , to begin with the waste segregation , milk bags should be collected and recycled rather than dumped . Awareness and concern on the same should be spread across as much as possible . This project targets to achieve the same goals .
LO7 : Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions :
While researching about plastic , its different types , disposal method I realized that by initiating this project , I will at least be able to contribute towards the betterment of the environment and the society altogether . Raising awareness and devising an action plan actually made me meet people across the city who very much believed that the need of the hour was to do something in the favor of the environment by looking at the current scenario where climate change has already started to take a toll on the health of the people and their lives . I understood the consequences of my actions and choices .
The LEARNER PROFILE ATTRIBUTES are as follows :
Knowledgable– While searching about plastic waste disposal and the negative consequences on the same , I made sure to gather as much information as possible . Reading about Incidents and decisions taken on such subject from local to global level , made me more apt with the project that I’d undertaken . This helped me to develop in-depth knowledge and broad understanding of many concepts which were unknown to me before .
Inquirers – Knowing about my surrounding which consisted mainly the environment has always been my area of interest . Thus , knowing about the actions which were degrading the same became an important task for , where I would research about it a lot , inquire my teachers and parents and elders . This learning of environmental conservation through my teachers and elders out of curiosity made it more interesting for me to know more about it and ask as many questions as possible .
Caring – Whilst searching more on plastic milk bags , I came across dreadful images of young children and older people scrapping plastic waste goods from a pyramid of garbage to earn some money . I had heard about this before but witnessing it horrified me . I couldn’t imagine what diseases , toxic chemicals and emissions they would’ve been exposed to and thinking about wet plastic milk bags regarding with sour smell and degraded condition infuriated me more and compelled me to take the necessary actions to wake people up . I was able to connect with this project on an extremely good level because I was compassionate about it. This is. personal commitment towards the service for the environment . And I intend to make a positive difference in the society and the environment .
To initiate this project , I required good and clear communication skills where I would be able to deliver and explain my project clearly to the people interested in this project . To be able to spread awareness , I had had to be very clear with my speech and solve people’s doubts confidently . Hence , I am able to recognise Communication as a learner profile attribute.