Clara Salina offers a new approach to plastic recycling in response to the severe impact that plastic has on the environment.
Clara, through Barcode vs. Plastic Waste demonstrates that the existing measures implemented by our current recycling model, focused on producer responsibility and consumer awareness, are simply not enough to prevent the continued accumulation of plastic waste in the oceans.
I have always been very concerned about my environmental-footprint since moving from Italy to South America as there is a distinct lack of awareness about the environment (especially when it comes to plastic).
After years of failing to make my closest friends, parents and neighbours aware of the risks attributed to plastic pollution in our oceans, I felt increasingly frustrated if not desperate to do something about the situation. I realised that the solution to plastic pollution could not rely solely on consumer awareness and action and that organisations and producers need to be made to be more accountable.
Only strictly enforced law can solve the problem, the reversion of the re-collection paradigm and find ways to involve retail is crucial, the very last actor of the consumption chain and the only one who can be really controlled.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Having my citizen proposition on Accademia.edu read by more than 2200people, most of whom are stakeholders from more than 60 countries. I'm pretty confident of this fact because I personally informed almost all of them myself!
Considering that I'm asking politicians to promulgate a law submitting retail corporations to a reversion of the plastic recollection model and that those corporations are among the most powerful in the world (Wal-Mart is even bigger than Exxon), I think my greatest achievements are still to come!
What are the challenges you face?
My dream is to present my proposition to the UN. The biggest challenge is getting decision makers listen to a common citizen, such as myself.
What are you working on that gets you fired up and excited?
I am currently working on an ongoing awareness campaign on social media that has already drawn the attention of key figures including economists, environmentalists and waste specialists to my proposition, many of whom have been very supportive.
Where do you want to take Barcode vs Plastic Waste next?
As I mentioned, the UN Assembly would be perfect, this is the quickest way to spread the idea. More likely, I hope to ad the proposition to the discussion agenda of countries of the UK and Spain where I will be giving lectures.
What can we, as individuals, do to make a difference?
As common people we can make a lot of difference, we have nothing to lose. Nobody sponsors us so we are totally independent. The most important thing is living a conscious and ethical life. Through living this way, if you see something bad, you feel the will to change it. Millions of little negative actions put our planet in danger, if all those little actions were positive, the impact would be incredible. Anyone has the possibility to transform something, but it is important to change that little voice inside saying 'it doesn't matter...'.
If you were Prime Minister, what would you do?
I would make a statement to my country that there won't be a better future without a healthy environment. From this point, I'd revise every corner of the society, starting with the economy, putting sustainability and zero waste, on the very top of the agenda.
What's the coolest project you've come across?
Greencode.cl it is an application which, while recycling, permits you to donate to nature. You open you account, scan the barcode and, as soon as you deliver the packaging to the recycling plant, you hit 'done'.
Can you recommend a game-changing book for our readers?