The UNB Art Centre recently launched a plastic use awareness campaign under the hashtag #plasticfreeunb.
The anti-plastic campaign asks that participants post a photo of plastic they find on the UNB campus on Instagram using the hashtag #plasticfreeunb.
Art Centre director Marie Maltais said the campaign was born through her recognition of how much plastic her own family uses. She said it is important to raise awareness of the impact of plastic use on an individual basis.
“We are trying to bring attention to the amount of plastic in the environment, and what we all do about it,” Maltais said. “We should all put attention in how we purchase goods, and how we all have a choice.”
She said the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about small acts of plastic use that contribute to the larger issue, and what everyone can do in the fight against climate change. Everyone is capable of bringing a tote bag when shopping for example, or carrying a reusable water bottle.
“There are so many small things we can do for change,” Maltais said.
According to Maltais, the university environment is the perfect place for such a campaign. She said it could teach students responsible behaviours and values before they enter the workforce and potentially embark on change-making careers.
“We are in a unique position as an educational institution, as people graduating from here will be the ones to fill legislative or business positions who can do something,” Maltais said.
Maltais also said we can't fall into the mentality that we are safe from climate change in a place like Fredericton. She highlighted the work of UNB graduates who found particles of plastic in the Bay of Fundy, near Saint John.
“We might think we aren't affected by climate change, but we are fooling ourselves,” she said.
Photos posted as part of the campaign will be compiled on posters and displayed across campus, including at the Art Centre’s World Water Day exhibit on March 22.