Spotlight on…Each month we shine a light on a Christian charity or ministry that either directly serves children or youth in some way, or those aiming to support them, whether in a full-time, part-time or volunteer capacity.
We exist to help connect children and families in the UK with communities overseas who are suffering the worst impacts of the global waste crisis, especially plastics. By inviting people in the UK to ‘twin their bin’, we can support social enterprises that are setting up bin collections and recycling projects in communities overseas which have not had them before.
More broadly, we are engaging communities in the UK and overseas with the problem of waste pollution and encouraging everyone to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. We have lots of resources aimed at children and young people on our website.
We’re part of the London-based Christian relief and development charity Tearfund, but our staff team is based in Bournemouth. And we have a wonderful nationwide team of volunteer speakers and promoters!
We learnt quickly that young people are passionate about reducing waste and protecting the environment. They were the group who were engaging most strongly with our campaign, so we have shifted our focus towards them. In one Northamptonshire village which has got heavily involved with Bin Twinning, it’s a pair of eight-year-old twins, Emily and Jack, who launched their fundraising!
They involved their school, church and local council, and even wrote to the prime minister. Emily and Jack have shared what they’ve been reading about reducing waste and the creative ideas they’ve had: they have influenced us.
In the same way, our partners overseas often prioritise with working with children and young people to help spread the word about solutions to the waste problem. It’s their generation which will suffer the worst impacts of the waste crisis and they’re passionate about creating a fairer, cleaner world. We’re just equipping them to outwork their ideas.
We are successful when…
Children have a strong sense of justice and empathy and when they’re presented with a problem, they immediately want to do something practical to help. So we love it when a Bin Twinning campaign starts to spark ideas in young people, not just about how they can help communities overseas but how they can help clean up their own community too. For example, to gain our Bin Twin Schools Award, students have to do something to tackle waste locally too, and we’ve had lots of groups who have done sponsored litter-picks. People often tell us Bin Twinning has helped them appreciate what we have in this country – including somewhere to put waste after a litter-pick!
Things are tricky when…
We set up Bin Twinning in the first year of the pandemic when it was harder to engage people with problems overseas as there was so much suffering in the UK. And the health and hygiene benefits of plastics such as face masks had never been clearer than during COVID-19! The global waste problem we’re trying to solve is urgent but it’s enormous too, and the challenge sometimes seems impossible. But we have to keep chipping away and build momentum and engagement with the problem in the hope that a tipping point will come.
Hopes for the future
Since Bin Twinning started in 2020, world leaders have started negotiations through the UN on creating the first-ever global plastics treaty by the end of 2024, which could be a vital step towards ending plastic pollution. So we hope the small but important small steps we and our Bin Twinners are taking will contribute to lasting change on a much bigger scale!
How you can contact us
We’d love to hear from you on email@example.com or 0300 303 3053.