STOP Single Use Plastics: using stories to improve the governance of plastics pollution

The STOP project will produce an online learning module and video documentary to help young people better appreciate the environmental impact of single use plastics and develop the skills they need to influence government and industry decision-makers.

Project overview

This project's goal is to develop tools to prepare the next generation of citizens for tackling the plastic crisis they have inherited and to live greener, more ‘plastic-aware’ lives. It is aimed at young people aged 16-30 in colleges, universities and across the wider community, including young professionals. It runs between May 2022 and February 2023 and is funded by the University of Surrey's Impact Accelerator Account which is in turn supported by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council.

In her prior work with the Governing Plastics Network (GPN), Professor Rosalind Malcolm collaborated with groups of young people in Jamaica and Kenya to devise tools for raising awareness of the issues surrounding single-use plastics. Case studies conducted across East Africa and the Caribbean were conducted to discover which communications strategies are most effective in improving the management of plastic waste and the enforcement of anti-plastic legislation.   

The STOP project will build on these findings to produce a set of tools to help young people better appreciate the impact on the environment of the plastic products they encounter every day and develop their skills for influencing decision-makers in both industry and the government. Central to these tools will be a video documentary embedded in an online learning module which will provide a pathway for exchanging knowledge, raising awareness and achieving maximum impact. 

This pilot project will focus on groups of young people in Kenya who have existing relationships with the Governing Plastics Network at college, university and in the early stages of their adult careers. Given that plastic is a global issue its outcomes will have wider relevance and utility for young people not just in developing countries but also across the industrialised world.

Project team

Principal investigator

Rosalind Malcolm profile image

Professor Rosalind Malcolm

Professor of Law, Director of Environmental Regulatory Research Group (ERRG)

Team members

Noreen O'Meara profile image

Dr Noreen O'Meara

Senior Lecturer in Human Rights and European Law. Co-Director, Surrey Centre for International and Environmental Law (SCIEL).