Products of Change


Thu 30 Mar 2023 | by Rob Hutchins

Wastebuster marks Day of Zero Waste with Water Week 2024 reveal

Fresh from the team’s visit to the United Nations 2023 Water Conference in New York, the not-for-profit environmental action group, Wastebuster has entered planning mode for the inaugural Water Week to kick off in 2024. Launched to coincide with the World Water Forum in Bali, Water Week will run from 18th to 24th May, 2024 and will focus on the prevention of water pollution through a series of educational programmes and youth engagement. Its aim will be to bring young people together around the world to consider the importance of water conservation while also engaging multiple global stakeholders to collate a programme of content and activities to inform, inspire, and empower young people to take positive action during the week and beyond. Katy Newnham, founder of Wastebuster, felt compelled to further the team’s action around waste education following its involvement in the UN 2023 Water Week last week “Connecting with so many representatives from industry, governments, NGOs, and UN departments committed to protecting water health and the SDGs, it became clear that just as water connects us all, so too do the challenges it faces,” she told Products of Change. “We all now have an opportunity and responsibility to connect and commit to create a water-secure sustainable future together; one that will harmonise the relationship between humans, ecosystems, and nature.”

Katy Newnham, founder of the not-for-profit environmental action group, Wastebuster, visits UN 2023 Water Conference in New York
As such, Water Week 2024 will focus on unpacking the science behind plastic waste and its link with water pollution. Not only does Wastebuster’s announcement coincide with the UN’s International Day of Zero Waste today (30 March) but in the same week that headlines emerge over rising concerns of micro-plastics consumption among the UK’s bird population and the ‘disturbing’ discovery of new rock formations to have developed from the glut of plastic pollution floating in the ocean around Brazil. Water Week 2024 will curate a set of informative short films, documentaries, talks, presentations, and songs on water challenges and solutions to broadcast over the course of the event. A campaign film, meanwhile, will feature interviews with young people and popular children’s characters, influencers, ambassadors, UN officials, and celebrities about the importance of taking action to protect and conserve water. “Plastics are a modern miracle of science with properties of strength, durability, and the provision of highly effective barriers to moisture within a lightweight material that are currently vital to the functioning of modern society,” explains Katy. “However, these properties valued in use become a liability when plastic is disposed of as waste and not managed correctly by being littered, dumped, or flushed down the toilet to enter waterways that lead to seas and oceans. “The most effective way we can protect the environment is by preventing more plastics from entering it. “Throughout Water Week 2024, we will explain how plastic waste and litter can enter the natural environment and travel from cities to seas, how fat bergs are created in sewage systems from plastic items such as wet wipes to cause dangerous blockages, how water is so scarce, water companies are recycling sewage and wastewater back into drinking water, and even how consumer items such as cotton buds can travel through entire sewage systems and still end up in the sea. “We will explore micro-plastics, how plastics behave in water and what this means for us, how chemical pollutants in our waterways and seas enter our water cycle and the implications of this, and most importantly, how we can all help prevent plastics entering our waterways in the first place, to protect the health of water and our oceans.”