2021 Winner

Amy and Ella Meek

Campaigning sisters set up a kids charity to help fight the global scourge of plastic pollution.

Amy, 18, and Ella, 16, are the founders of youth social action group Kids Against Plastic, which is now a registered charity. It calls for action against plastic pollution and encourages individuals, schools and businesses to be more ‘plastic clever’ and ditch single-use plastics where possible.

So far more than 1,000 schools and 50 cafes, businesses, festivals and councils have committed to being ‘plastic clever’. They sisters, from Nottingham, have given TED talks, spoken with leaders in the aviation industry about reducing their plastic footprint, addressed politicians in Westminster and spoken at the United Nations’ Young Activist Summit in December 2019.

They’ve nearly reached their target of collecting 100,000 pieces of rubbish, one for every sea mammal killed by plastic pollution every year, and run a scheme to champion other anti-plastic activists who do the same around the country. Their first book, Be Plastic Clever, was published last year.

Amy said: “We take our gloves and litter pickers with us wherever we go at weekends and fill our pockets with plastic if we’re on a bike ride. Once you start picking it up, you start seeing it everywhere and then you end up feeling uncomfortable about driving or walking past it without doing something.”

Ella adds: ““We are all part of the problem, which makes us part of the solution.”