Press Release

New Club for Young Teens to Fight Plastic Pollution

Led by National Geographic Explorer Tati Besada, the Unplastify Club offers students aged 12-14 worldwide the chance to ignite curiosity and commitment to develop their own plastic pollution prevention solutions.

Photograph by Sofia Lopez Mañan/National Geographic

National Geographic Explorer Tati Besada’s Unplastify Worldwide program is launching an exciting new initiative to introduce younger teens to the issue of plastic pollution. The Unplastify Club is a game-based experience for students from all around the world aged 12-14 and aims to introduce concepts of environmental action through self-paced lessons that help empower and encourage critical thinking in younger students. The program is available for classrooms internationally in both Spanish and English.

“Unplastify,” a term coined by National Geographic Explorer and Founder of Unplastify Worldwide, Agustina “Tati'' Besada, is a progressive action to minimize the use of disposable plastics systemically by changing norms and behaviors – the root causes of pollution.

The Unplastify Club, with the support of a local teacher or mentor, will incorporate a dynamic and interactive curriculum to engage youth in classrooms around the world to consider their impacts on plastic pollution. The program aims to promote awareness and understanding of the issue of plastic pollution and its negative impacts on the environment and our lives. Throughout the program, students will be encouraged to undertake unplastifying “missions” using skills and perspectives making the most out of their own interests and skill sets. Enrollment to the Unplastify Club is now open.

Key Features of the Unplastify Club:

  • Toolkit - Students and mentors will have the opportunity to learn with Unplastify’s environmental curriculum through a series of digital tools provided by the Unplastify program.
  • Game-Based Learning - Through a board game structure, students and mentors will learn more about plastic pollution — choosing as a group what type of plastic problem they want to address and overcoming missions that will guide their actions.
  • Mentor Engagement - Students can engage with older students and mentors from the Unplastify Worldwide program and gain leadership skills by mentoring future students as they grow.
  • Unplastify Program Pathway - Participating students will have the opportunity to utilize the skills they learn in the Unplastify Club by graduating into the Unplastify Challenge for Schools program — a three-month advanced educational program which works with students aged 15-16 to innovate and implement their own solutions to the issue of plastic pollution in their own communities (a program that has been running since 2019).

“It’s important to us that younger students have the chance to engage with these concepts early to support our future leaders in understanding and addressing plastic pollution at its source,” said founder Agustina “Tati” Besada, “The Unplastify Club is a unique chance for mentors and students around the world to work at their own pace through these challenges and develop their own perspectives and ideas around real-world solutions.”

“The Unplastify Worldwide program is an incredible opportunity that has already reached 23 countries to date,” said Dr. Deborah Grayson, chief education officer at the National Geographic Society, “we’re excited to support the new Unplastify Club to help bridge the gap for younger students around environmental conservation and encourage new ideas for years to come.”

Students or teachers interested in launching a chapter of the Unplastify Club in their own schools or joining existing Unplastify Challenges in English or Spanish, can register here or check out the website to learn more about the program and how to get started.

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