Hello, my name is Arlian otherwise known as Plastic Free Boy. Since my eleventh birthday my mum a film maker and I, have been on an epic journey to inspire kids in schools to use reusable items instead of plastic, and protect our oceans! It all started on my eleventh birthday, I was playing in the sand on the beach when suddenly a huge swarm of people gathered around, my mum knowing that it was a turtle release got out her GoPro and started filming some people from Ballina Sea Bird Rescue putting three Green Sea Turtles back into the ocean. At the time I knew close to nothing about sea turtles ingesting plastic, until my mum told me all about it.
I was sad to think that such a peaceful creature being harmed by our pollution. Both my mum as an under water film maker and I, wanted to do something about this issue! So we started filming, our first step was to go to the Sea Bird Rescue Hospital in Ballina, there I also found out about micro plastic, a toxic microscopic bit of plastic which ends up in the food chain, and on our dinner plate!
I never would have thought that pieces of plastic so small could effect a sea turtle, let alone a human, this really shocked me, but it’s not what really got me inspired to make a difference.
What really got me going is seeing a beautiful and delicate ocean being smothered in all our plastics and hasn’t deserved any of it. After a few months post the turtle release, I had learnt so much about plastics in our oceans, and how precious our ocean eco systems are to the animals and us humans!
By the end of 2017, we had Finished our first film ‘PLASTIC ALARM’ which shared the problems our oceans and marine life are facing and more importantly how we can protect our ecosystems!
But we didn’t stop there, 3 years later I’ve shown our film to tens of thousands of students in schools and spoken to city leaders from all across the Asia Pacific Region at the Asia-Pacific City Summit Mayors Forum inspiring them to make changes in their cities.
This year is going to be a boom for our project! In July I will be speaking at the 2021 Mumbrella 360 Conference where I will speak in-front of Chief Marketers of large companies, like Coles and David Jones, to see if I can inspire them to make a difference in their businesses!
The most exiting project which my mum and I are working on is our next film ‘Plan B’ full of solutions to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the eco systems we all rely on!
At the moment we are heading out on tourism boats to the reef, to film the beauty of the reef and the animals which live there, so people fall in love with the reef, and want to protect it!
We are also interviewing scientists about the reef and the ecology of coral and how the ecosystems work while growing our understanding of how to conserve the reef health.
As a kid I feel that it’s extremely important that we conserve our oceans for the future generations to come, also for there to be education and inspiration in schools to protect our oceans from plastic pollution and climate change!
Two years ago as I was speaking to two thousand kids, one student asked me, “how can I make a difference, I’m just a kid?” my response was, well if I can inspire you, then you can inspire many more!
So I ask you, what’s YOUR solution?