Young sailors encouraged to pressure event hosts to reduce single-use plastic

Young sailors encouraged to pressure event hosts to reduce single-use plastic

World Sailing, World Sailing Trust and Ocean Heroes to publish toolkit – focused on behaviour change, supply, and policies and rules – at Youth World Championships in Poland

A toolkit developed to educate competitive sailors about how they can pressure stakeholders to move away from single-use plastics will be unveiled at this year’s Hempel Youth World Championships.

World Sailing’s Ocean Heroes Toolkit is comprised of “three strategies for change”: demand-side/behaviour side, supply side, and policies and rules.

The latter shows those using the toolkit how to convince national and regional sailing associations to eliminate single-use plastics from their events.

To accelerate behaviour change and demand for reusable alternatives, sailors will be taught how to convince others to shun single-use plastics, paving the way for events and sailing clubs to ditch the material through pledges and petitions.

On the supply side, the tool demonstrates how to incentivise the use of reusables – for example, providing discounts in cafes for bringing reusable cups.

The toolkit, which was developed by World Sailing, it’s charitable arm World Sailing Trust and Ocean Heroes (which has three partners – Captain Planet Foundation, Lonely Whale and Point Break Foundation), will be initially unveiled at the Emerging Nations Programme clinic ahead of the event.

During the clinic, 20 sailors from emerging sailing nations will receive the training. The toolkit will then be made available to others via download.

It’s part of a wider partnership between World Sailing Trust and Ocean Heroes to deliver youth sustainability training at this year’s Youth Worlds, which occurs from 13-20 July in Gdynia, Poland. More than 400 competitors from 67 nations will be taught techniques to stem the flow of plastic pollution into the world’s oceans.

As part of its Agenda 2030 sustainability strategy, World Sailing has pledged to abolish the use of single-use plastics, with the exception of boat branding, by the end of 2019. It will also encourage the abolishment of single-use plastics at national sailing events by 2030.

The International Federation is a signatory to the United Nations’ Clean Seas campaign – a UN Environment initiative established to engage governments, the public and the private sector to “fight against marine plastic pollution”.

Dee Caffari, the chair of World Sailing Trust, said the programme was established to “build on the sailors’ enthusiasm” for sustainability. During last year’s Youth Worlds in Corpus Christi, US – described by Caffari as the “benchmark for sustainability” at World Sailing events – 96% of surveyed participants said they would like to see sustainability projects occur at the events they take part in.

“We hope to continue to inspire them to make a difference globally and with support of partners such as Ocean Heros, we’ll have a strong and stable network for them to become ocean advocates and continue initiatives within their home country after the event,” she added.

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