Best Ideas 2022 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.

Youth Ocean Recycling Group

Stage of Idea conceptual stage

Explain your idea in details:

The main objective of the Youth Ocean Recycling Group is to build a community of like-minded individuals who are willing to take part in sustaining our marine ecosystems. Currently, the oceans are polluted with all sorts of waste. The numbers are staggering: There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. Although cleaning up the deep sea pollutants is not a task for a common citizen. Our shores however are full of plastic pollutants that are still harming our environment. In 2020, nearly 2.6 million pounds of trash were collected along 34,099 kilometers of the U.S. coastline. With the organization of YORG, youth groups can spend time collecting pieces of plastic waste along the shoreline, providing them with volunteering hours and hands-on experience. Since the plastic we collect during the clean-up process cannot directly be dumped into landfills(where it may take up to 1,000 years to decompose, leaching potentially toxic substances into the soil and water, further causing harm to the environment), we will direct the plastic to non-profit recycling centers around the nation, turning the unusable plastic waste into newly formed recycled flakes that can be used in new plastic products. Then the newly recycled plastic flakes will be sent to Green Toys(, a company focused on making toys using 100% recycled and eco-friendly material.

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Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

Overall, YORG targets three sustainable development goals. First, we target goal 8 by providing the youth with opportunities to volunteer to rid the shores of plastic waste. We also target goal 14 by contributing to the cleansing of plastic waste from oceans, specifically from the shorelines. Finally, we target goal 12 by recycling the plastic waste collected and reusing the recycled plastics by providing Green Toys with manufacturing material. We can measure units of success by measuring the weight of total plastic waste collected and recycled. We can also measure units of success by seeing how our work has affected annual statistics regarding plastic waste at the shorelines. YORG will ultimately provide a lasting impact on both pollutant emissions from plastic wastes, and also aid in the sustainability of our marine ecosystems, as we aim to reduce harmful chemicals released by plastic waste as we clean up the ocean. The YORG aims to reach 5 metric tons of plastic waste collected during our first fiscal year of operation. Although this amount seems dismissable in the grand scheme of things, we plan on scaling our goals exponentially in the future as our organization and our workforce expand further. Our long-term goal in the next couple of decades aims to reduce total plastic waste on the shorelines by 1%.

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Plans for implementation and sustainability

As our program exists as a nonprofit, we do not conduct using a business model. Although our nonprofit will not need financing sources, as we are not directly making products, we welcome donations to spread awareness through certain marketing ideas such as advertisements. We will also provide snacks and refreshments for the hard-working volunteers. Regarding collaborators, we hope to work with bigger nonprofit organizations and use their influence to spread awareness, hoping to increase participation in the YORG. Our main model of operations insists on campaigning, execution, and shipment. During our campaigning stages, we aim to spread awareness and gather the attention of people who are willing to volunteer for the cause. After we can gather a sizable group of volunteers, we move on to the execution phase of the plan where we start gathering plastic waste and start processing the waste into recycled plastic flakes. After execution, we ship the flakes to Green Toys, where products are then manufactured. The timeframe of each complete cycle will be estimated to be from two weeks to a month.

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Your profile

My name is Bryan Song, a 16-year-old attending West Windsor Plainsboro High School South. I have a background in mathematics, where I compete in prestigious competitions such as the United States Junior Mathematic Olympiad. I also have a background in personal finance, amassing successful investment portfolios. My motivation is to reach higher levels of success than my previous generations have reached so I can provide generational sustainability. I would like to advance my background in finance to entrepreneurship, and eventually start my investment funds, where I can use my leadership, persistence, and collaboration skills to amount to immense returns. My name is Rishi Bajaj and I am a 16-year-old student attending West Windsor Plainsboro High School South. My interest in making the world a better place began at the age of 13 when I started to volunteer for a non-profit that guided kids with special needs into whatever field they desired. Since this age, however, I have also developed a passion for entrepreneurship and business in general. I began to tie both of these interests together at the beginning of my freshman year, by participating in multiple prestigious sustainable business competitions. My name is Tanush Jagtap, and I am a 16-year-old student at West Windsor Plainsboro High School South. Since a young age, I've had a passion for public speaking -speaking in front of crowds never seemed to bother me. In high school, I even joined the debate team. However, recently, I've begun to explore the world of business and economics. My goal now is to combine these two by using my voice to speak up for the less fortunate, and aid in creating businesses that are sustainable and help those that are in need.

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October 14, 2022 14:08

Bryan, we haven't thought that these numbers are that terrifying. It is great that you decided to pick this theme and I hope it will help in raising awareness of such a problem as water pollution! We hope that you will find enough people as volunteers who also care about our environment!

Good luck!