Communities Reveal the Nearby Effect of Plastic Manufacturing via the Toxic Tours Platform  

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New Delhi: #breakfreefromplastic is a global movement consisting of more than 8,000 individuals and organisations working together to stop plastic pollution for good. Their project – The Toxic Tour – brings the concept of local Toxic Tours to a digital space, reaching viewers around the world before UNEA5 and achieving the goal of protecting the planet and its natural resources sustainably.

Manager of Community Outreach and Support, FracTracker Alliance, Erica Jackson said: “Too often, the petrochemical industry uses maps to make plans without community input. In this project, that power dynamic is reversed, and people around the world have mapped out videos that capture their lived experiences, each one a data point showing what’s at stake and the impacts of living near petrochemical polluters. This atlas of evidence from frontline communities shows where we must focus our efforts to stop plastic pollution.”

Manila – The petrochemical industry is expanding and plastics (99 per cent derived from fossil fuels) will be the next focus of the industry. Directly affected by this growing threat from the fossil fuel and plastics industry, communities around the world, with the support of the #breakfreefromplastic movement, are organising to showcase local struggles on a global interactive storytelling map. The Toxic Tours project includes a frontline community living near petrochemical plants in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the United States. The act of mapping the ultra-local consequences of these toxic plastic production facilities gives these communities the opportunity to regain the story of the space they live in and call home.

Researcher and Campaigner at Environmental Rights Foundation (Taiwan) Yan-Ting Lin said: “Taiwan’s petrochemical industries have caused significant environmental and social damage due to explosions, fires, mass water consumption, and toxic pollution of the air, sea, and soil. Many citizens who live near these industrial sites die from cancer, while others leave their hometowns in the hopes of escaping these impacts. The Toxic Tours project allows us to realise how the petrochemical industries are harming communities and the environment in order to continue profiting from plastic production.”

In the videos the participating communities tell local stories through videos, sounds, still images, texts, narration, and interviews. Viewers can virtually explore diverse communities and experience the toxic effects of petrochemicals making more and more plastics. This initiative not only emphasises the negative impacts on the environment and the community itself but also fights petrochemical companies and advocates sustainable environments, better jobs, healthcare, and other environmental and social justice priorities.