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Circular Economy

Empowering Youth to Combat Plastic Pollution

Natasha Tucker

Executive Director

Michelle Brake

Programs and Policy Manager

Mind Your Plastic’s CEAP is transforming students into environmental leaders through education and hands-on action to reduce plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution is undeniably harmful to both human and environmental health. Engaging youth in the issue is crucial in creating sustainable change and innovative solutions for the plastic pollution crisis.

Understanding CEAP’s Impact on Students

Mind Your Plastic’s Circular Economy Ambassador Program (CEAP) is dedicated to eliminating plastic pollution by educating and empowering students across Canada. The program encourages students to learn about waste reduction and become citizen scientists by cleaning up their communities. The program uses surveys to measure changes in students’ understanding and attitudes toward plastic waste before and after their participation.

The CEAP effectively combines hands-on action with education, empowering students to become environmental stewards with a passion for plastic pollution reduction.

The CEAP effectively combines hands-on action with classroom learning, empowering students to become environmental stewards with a passion for plastic pollution reduction.

Survey Insights: Measuring Knowledge and Attitudes

A total of 253 students completed our 2023 surveys. Here are the key findings:

Program Methodology: The CEAP involves students in practical activities, such as litter cleanups, paired with classroom education. This hands-on approach ensures students not only learn about plastic pollution but also engage directly in mitigating it. By participating in cleanups, students see firsthand the extent of plastic waste in their communities, which reinforces their classroom learning.

Knowledge Gains: Initially, only 7% of students could accurately define the circular economy. Post-program, this increased to 43%. Understanding of recycling rates also improved, with 10% more students responding correctly after the cleanup. This highlights the program’s effectiveness in enhancing students’ knowledge about waste in Canada.

Attitudinal Shifts: Before the program, 19% of students felt the plastic crisis was “not important.” After participating in the CEAP, this dropped to 3%. Students also began to see producers and retailers as major contributors to plastic pollution, indicating a shift in recognizing systemic issues. The change in perception helps students understand that addressing plastic pollution requires collective action and systemic change, not just individual efforts.

Inspiring Action

Students were enthusiastic about making a tangible difference through community cleanups. Post-program, over 75% felt inspired to continue combating plastic pollution, showcasing the CEAP’s ability to foster long-term environmental responsibility. Cleaning up their local

environment instilled a sense of accomplishment and motivated students to take further action in their daily lives.

Looking Ahead

With over 5,000 students enrolled in this year’s program, Mind Your Plastic aims to continue exploring the program’s impact and inspire more young leaders. Our goal is to engage as many students as possible across Canada, providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to make a lasting impact on plastic pollution. The 2024 survey results will tell us even more about the program’s outcomes.

Join us in this impactful journey. Educators can sign-up for our 2025 CEAP waitlist, while supporters can donate today to help students participate in our programming. Visit to learn more and be a part of our mission to end plastic pollution in Canada.

Visit to learn more and support our mission of ending plastic pollution in Canada.

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