Campaigner wins top prize for plans to tackle plastic waste in Monmouth

Campaigner wins top prize for plans to tackle plastic waste in Monmouth

28 January 2021

A 15-year-old environmental campaigner has set a new gold standard after scooping the top prize overall in an international competition.

Sammara Audi, a pupil at Monmouth School for Girls, triumphed in the international section of the London International Model United Nations: High School (LIMUN: HS) competition.

The organisers said Sammara’s entry was ‘fantastic’ and ‘inspired’ and will ‘forever be the gold standard of the Policy Project Competition’.

Competition spokesman, Adam Fudala, said: “All of the fantastic work, commitment and potential Sammara exemplified during the entire process left us all inspired. In these trying times, the world needs leaders of change just like Sammara.”

Model United Nations (MUN) is an educational simulation and academic activity in which students learn about diplomacy and relations, and attempt to solve real world issues with policies and perspectives.

English and Drama teacher at Monmouth School for Girls, Ms Kate Bourne, has established the thriving MUN club at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools.

The competition called for future world leaders to simulate the work performed at the United Nations.

And the Year 11 student, who runs an environmental blog on social media, wrote about plastic waste and littering, both globally and in Monmouth.

“Climate change is a very important global issue that I hold close to my heart,” said Sammara.

Entrants had to focus on local spaces-global problem and were tasked with relating a global problem, such as climate change, to their local area and to write a policy aiming to solve the issue.

Sammara said: “Due to mass production of plastic, there is now approximately 8.3 billion metric tons on this planet, and of that number, 6.3 billion metric tons becomes plastic waste. Only 9% has been recycled, with the rest piling up in landfills or ending up in oceans, harming wildlife.

“From these stats you can see that plastic littering is a very important issue that is incredibly harmful to the environment, and not enough is being done to solve this problem.”

Sammara wrote a 500-word essay to identify the problem and then submitted a 1,000-word policy, including ways to resolve the problem of plastic waste and littering in Monmouth.

“Monmouth as a town is actually pretty satisfactory with dealing with plastic waste and littering,” she said.

“There are multiple different organisations solely focused on tackling this issue, such as ‘plastic Free Monmouth’ as well as various groups that go around picking up litter.

“However, as a school, I feel we could improve to become more eco-friendly as a community.

“An example of a solution I came up with was to focus on educating the community on ways to correctly address this issue while also providing benefits if individuals took part, which would encourage members of the community to get involved.”

As well as receiving the competition’s top award, Sammara was sent a personal letter of recommendation from the organisers, and granted free entry into the LIMUN: HS conference in March.

Mr Fudala said: “We received a considerable number of tremendous papers, which made the entire process highly competitive. It is my extreme pleasure to announce that Sammara’s work has been selected as the top submission of the entire competition.”

Sammara added: “When coming up with resolutions, one thing that stood out to me was that plastic waste and littering is a topic that everyone is aware of yet continues to be ignored.

“In everyday life, plastic waste might as well not exist, but the minute you look deeper into the consequences and the shocking stats you can really see the urgency.”

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