Select Your Strategy
If you have defined the problem you want to address clearly, you probably already have some ideas for how you can address it.
The three strategies for change we focus on at Ocean Heroes HQ are:
- Policy (or rules): We can change the rules around the sale or distribution of single-use plastic items.
- Supply-Side (or business practices): We can change the way that places that provide or sell single-use items do business.
- Demand-Side (or behavior): We can change the way people think and behave about how they use and dispose of single-use plastic items.
We need all three strategies to happen at the same time to create large-scale change,
so they’re all equally important!
In selecting a strategy, think about how you defined your problem. If the problem is that your soccer team only provides single-use plastic water bottles at games, that could be addressed by using a SUPPLY-SIDE strategy. If the problem is that your peers just don't think about how many bottles they throw away, you might want to focus on their behavior or the DEMAND-SIDE of the problem. If the problem is that all schools in your district only have vending machines for water, you may want to approach your school board about changing district POLICY around SUP in schools.
Below are tools, language, and strategies that you can use to design and implement your plan once you have selected your strategy.
Laws are the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members. Laws are typically enforced by punishing violations. Changing or creating laws in your community around the use or distribution of single-use plastic products is one way you can reduce plastic waste.
Businesses have practices in place for how they provide their goods and services. Many of those systems are rooted in cost effectiveness, customer service, and marketing. Changing business practices requires that you address ALL of these areas of importance for a particular company or organization.
Individuals, as people and as consumers, are complex beings. They have beliefs (not always based in fact), preferences, behaviors, habits, biases - that may not be based on science or good for the environment. Changing behaviors of individual people is hard work, but convincing people not to use straws will certainly reduce the number entering the ocean.