Building collective ownership of single-use plastics waste in youth communities: case studies from Kenya, Jamaica, and Malawi

This project addresses the impact from pollution by single-use plastics (SUP) waste, designing intervention tools such as social media campaigns, school presentations and competitions, schools/universities collaborative projects and policy recommendations and guidelines which will have an impact on the reduction of SUP waste and will support the attainment of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

There is generally no sense of collective ownership of environmental issues and waste becomes a problem when no-one accepts ownership. Plastics waste, especially single-use plastic (SUP), is an example of the problems arising from this lack of community ownership. Many young people are habituated to using plastics without considering fully their negative impacts. Building on existing research within this team (e.g. Earth Ambassadeurs School Plastic Project in Jamaica), this project will seek to identify tools that can build collective awareness and motivate action to minimise SUP in youth communities. Three case studies in Kenya, Jamaica and Malawi will be undertaken to evaluate communication options including online and other virtual tools to support the objective of reducing SUP within: schools (Jamaica and Kenya)and universities (Malawi). Results will be used to prepare relevant policy documents and guidelines as part of governance frameworks and will build on the work of the Governing Plastics Network.

The project intends to address the impact from pollution by SUP waste, supporting the objectives of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 8 to promote economic development and sustainable growth; 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; 12 to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; and 15 to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems.


Project team

Kenya team

Nicholas Oguge profile image

Professor Nicholas Oguge


Francis Oremo profile image

Dr Francis Oremo

Network Manager

Salome Ondigo profile image

Salome Ondigo

Project assistant

Caribbean team

Anthony Clayton profile image

Professor Anthony Clayton


Andrea Clayton profile image

Dr Andrea Clayton

Project Partner

Kwame Emmanuel profile image

Dr Kwame Emmanuel

Legal and Communications Expert

Malawi team

Thoko Kaime profile image

Professor Thoko Kaime


Isabelle Zundel profile image

Isabelle Zundel

Research Assistant

Tisungeni Malawula Kaime profile image

Tisungeni Malawula Kaime