13-year-old’s plastic pick-up initiative

At just 7 years old, Lilly Platt, who lives in the Netherlands, started her own initiative to give back to the environment: Lilly’s Plastic Pick-up.

“I was out walking with my Grandfather and we noticed all the rubbish on the ground,” she tells Smiley News. “We decided to pick it up and count it at the same time. I counted 91 pieces in just 10 minutes of walking! 

“My Grandfather told me that anything that falls on the ground will somehow make its way to the sea – it may take a day, a week, a month or even a whole year, but it will get into the waterways and the ocean and become part of the ‘plastic soup’.”

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Lilly looked into the ‘Plastic Soup’ and how bad plastic is for the environment and animals. She was shocked to find that it isn’t biodegradable, and breaks down into smaller pieces called microplastics. This means animals eat it, ending in tragic consequences. 

So, in that moment, she decided to pick up all the plastic she sees. Now 13, Lilly and her supporters have picked up more than 200,000 pieces of plastic.

She’s also now a youth ambassador for the Plastic Pollution Coalition, Earth Org and Youth Mundus.

“My aim is to use my platform and initiative to inspire people to refuse single-use plastic and to reduce their plastic usage,” she says. “Plastic is made from fossil fuel. It is important to also convey messages to change policy on plastics to politicians at local, national and international levels to help care for the future of our environment and nature around us. 

“Jane Goodall told me never to take No for an answer. This is very good advice.”

Inspired to act?

JOIN: Join Lilly in litter picking in your own area. Find out more at Keep Britain Tidy

DONATE: Donate to charities who are reducing the amount of litter on the ground across the country.

FOLLOW: Follow Lilly and her journey on Instagram.