Plastic Free July- Week 4
This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Olivia Foti. Olivia is environmentally minded and is the founder of The Plastic Free Movement. And yes, she is related to the same Foti family as us through marriage.
A fun fact about the couple is that Olivia and Joshua (Nadia’s brother) married each other 4 times in the space of a year! Two of those times were at some of the biggest festivals in the world, first at Tomorrow Land in Belgium and then at Burning Man in the United States. Pretty cool huh!
Olivia is passionate about animals and the environment. Saying that “I’m always looking into ways I can recycle and take into consideration how my daily choices impact the environment.” This passion lead her to quit her 10-year career in the corporate sector and leaving it all behind to volunteer at the Turtle Conservation and Education Centre in Sarangan, Bali.
During her time as a volunteer, Olivia cared for sick and injured turtles and helped to educate tourists about sea turtles. Describing it was an eye opening experience; she got to see first-hand how the turtles were affected by the trash in the ocean. Saying that “all of these turtles we rescued were sick as they had eaten plastic bags and had tumors from the polluted water”.
Even on this remote island, located south of Sanur (just in case you were wondering) Olivia found plastic trash everywhere. “Walking along the beach, there was trash all along the shoreline; there were straws and plastic bottles.” It was at this moment she realised more needed to be done to educate and spread the word about the problems caused by single use plastics. As a result of this realisation ‘The Plastic Free Movement’ was born.
Olivia decided to create a range of products that encouraged individuals to reuse their everyday items. She created reusable makeup wipes, cutlery wraps and tea towels (aka ‘unpaper towels’ as she calls it), which are all handmade by her using recycled and donated materials.
She thinks that one of the reasons why individuals continue to use plastics is convenience. “We don’t really think about it until we see the impact. But if I show people the impact of what we are doing to the environment, it will help to change their ways to be a more conscious consumer.”
We love Olivia’s initiative to spread the message on the problems plastic is causing and how she has created these cool alternatives to use in our everyday life.
As Plastic Free July comes to an end this doesn't mean we will stop our plastic free mission. Stay tuned for cool plastic free recipes that you will love!
Until next time xx