Sophia Skarparis

Australian Geographic - - Your Society -

SOPHIA WANTS her gen­er­a­tion to be game chang­ers in pro­tect­ing the planet.

The 15-year-old be­gan a pe­ti­tion to ban plas­tic bags in New South Wales, and in May this year met with Premier Gla­dys Bere­jik­lian to present its 7000 sig­na­tures, who told Sophia she’d need 10,000 to ta­ble the pe­ti­tion with the NSW gov­ern­ment. They met again in Au­gust, when Sophia had the sig­na­tures.

The Premier, who is Sophia’s lo­cal mem­ber, tabled the pe­ti­tion and it was sched­uled for a con­ver­sa­tion as we went to press.

Sophia says her gen­er­a­tion is see­ing neg­a­tive im­pacts on ma­rine and bird life from plas­tic, and in­sists we’re not tied to plas­tic for bin lin­ers or dog waste. The teenager sees a fu­ture where re­us­able bags re­place plas­tic ones, take­away cof­fee cups and plas­tic straws are no more, and bal­loons and plas­tic pack­ag­ing of food are in de­cline.

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