In an extraordinarily visual protest, thousands of Germans demonstrated in Berlin against using plastic bags. The demonstrators tied 30,000 plastic bags they collected to make a chain nearly five and ½ miles (9 kilometers) long. The event was sponsored by the Berlin Nature Conservation Society.
September 15th kicked off a corresponding week-long nationwide campaign: “Defeat the plastic bag.” Thousands of young people from schools, clubs and organizations drew attention to the issue with creative projects and prizes.
Germany uses 10,000 plastic bags a minute, but it can take centuries for the bags to break down.
The “Trash Busters” is a project for the young members of NABU (Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union), and they are called “Waste Heroes.” NABU is one of the oldest and largest environment associations in Germany.
The mission of “Trash Busters” is clear: put an end to the plastic bag. The students cleared natural areas of plastic trash, pedestrian zones and walkways. They also asked shops for a commitment to be plastic-free. Of course those shops are honor-bound to maintain that status.
Project manager Daniel Henkel of the NABU explained,
“If (government) policy takes forever to abolish the plastic bag, we will handle the problem ourselves. Instead of producing new plastic waste with every purchase, I just take my own bags.”
Trash Busters had its own campaign website www.trashbusters.de. The Trash Busters Application was a place where young people located and reported garbage hotspots then cleaned them up as a group. The app was available for free in the Google and Apple’s app stores. This “Trash Busters” project was sponsored by the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) with funds of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
Special thanks to NABU