Podcast transcript, Oct. 2
A – Hello and welcome to WoW!, the positive podcast! Showing kids that there’s a lot more to the world news than bad news.
I’m Alastair. As a journalist, I’ve often written about things going wrong. But people also need to know too about what’s going right.
This week, I’m going to be talking to Clarisse about surfing. And soup. Intrigued? Well listen on …!
A – Hello Clarisse! How are things with you today?
C – Hello Alastair! I’m well. But I’m wondering how you’re going to tell us a story about surfing – and soup!
A – It’s not obvious is it! If I say that it’s about someone who surfs on soup, what do you think of?
C – Hm. Well, it sounds pretty messy! What is it really?
A – Well Clarisse, this is a story about something dear to your heart – plastic. And more specifically about plastic waste.
C – Yes, Alastair. You’re right. For example, I don’t buy water or drinks in plastic bottles. I always carry my own bottle that I can fill up myself. And if I do have to buy something in plastic packaging I make sure that the plastic goes to be recycled.
A – Well I’ve been speaking this week to someone who’s become famous for showing people why we should all be more like you Clarisse when it comes to plastic…
C – And what does this have to do with soup, Alastair? Or with surfing?!
A – Ha, right. The “soup” is not really soup. What we’re talking about is the sea. As you know, Clarisse, plastic is useful stuff. But we throw away far too much of it. So much that people say the water on planet Earth is becoming …
C – Oh, I get it! Like “plastic soup”!
A – Exactly Clarisse.
C – So where does the surfing come in?
A – Well the guy I’ve been talking to this week, he calls himself The Plastic Soup Surfer.
C – The Plastic Soup Surfer…?
A – Yup. He surfs on the plastic soup. His name is Merijn and he lives in Holland. This is what he told me: When he was young, he was so into surfing that he made this huge expedition on his bike to surf the big ocean waves in Morocco. It was amazing. But there was one thing that spoiled it. The beaches were covered in plastic washed up from the sea. “I have to do something about this,” young Merijn thought…
C – So, what did he do? He started picking up the litter?
A – Yes, Clarisse. Especially after he got home, he started getting together with people to pick up plastic waste. But Merijn realised that just cleaning up plastic isn’t enough. He realised that what we really need to do is to stop making so much plastic and to stop throwing so much of it away instead of recycling it. That’s how the Plastic Soup Surfer was born!
C – Er really? So what exactly is a plastic soup surfer?
A – Well, Merijn already had this great passion – for surfing. And he found this other passion – for fighting plastic waste. So he put the two together. He does some amazing things with a surfboard that gets people’s attention. And he shows them how they too can make a difference.
C – Cool!
A – In the past few years he has, for example, made a surfboard out of old plastic bottles and used it to kite-surf all the way across the North Sea from Holland to England.
C – Amazing! And what’s his latest?
A – Well, he’s just completed an epic trip paddling a board all the way across his country, the Netherlands – over 500 km in just a couple of weeks. And along the way he was visiting kids in schools to help them get more recycling into their schools.
C – So he’s telling children about why we need to recycle?
A – Well, Clarisse, actually, not really. He told me that he doesn’t have to preach to kids about the need to clean up our environment. They already get that – probably more than their parents and grandparents. No, what he’s really about these days is showing kids that they can change things in the world themselves.
C – Ah, you mean like WoW!
A – Exactly Clarisse! Like us, Merijn the Plastic Soup Surfer wants to inspire kids to see that they can change the world. He explains how they can get together and write to their town’s mayor, for example. Or they can send pictures of plastic rubbish to the companies that sell the plastic that ends up in the water – and ask them to change their habits?
C – And does it work?
A – Yes it does Clarisse. You could say Merijn is surfing a wave of success…
C – Oooh… Or maybe not use bad puns, Alastair…
A – Ha OK! But yes, For example he persuaded one company to stop putting plastic wrappers on its sweets and use paper instead – which rots away quickly in nature. And he persuaded the Dutch government to introduce a scheme to push people to recycle plastic bottles by giving them money back for empty bottles they take back to the store.
C – And of course it would be better if we all used reuseable bottles like mine!
A – Ah well, Clarisse, we’re making a start anyway. As Merijn says, “together, we have the power to change our future”!
C – That’s a great idea, Alastair. Thanks! Now, I really need to get back to soup. The real vegetable soup that I’m making in my kitchen…
A – Hm. Sounds good, Clarisse. Good food for autumn, Enjoy and bon appetit!
C – Bye Alastair!
A – And thank you all for listening. If you enjoyed finding out about Merijn, the Plastic Soup Surfer, head over to our website – wow dash news dot eu – where you can find out more and watch him in action. And, if you like this podcast, do tell a friend. I’m Alastair, and I’ll be back next week with more inspiring people and brilliant solutions from WoW! Byeeee!