Greta Thunberg Inspires Kids to Teach Their Parents About Recycling
Parents say their children look up to Greta Thunberg.

Teenage environmentalist Greta Thunberg is inspiring children to teach their parents about good recycling practices.

According to a new poll by the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA)—which surveyed 2,000 parents of school children—nearly half of parents have been “shamed” by their children for not recycling properly.

Forty percent said their kids are the main drivers of positive recycling and sustainability attitudes at home. This is, in part, thanks to the rising popularity of Thunberg. It’s also due to more education on environmental issues at school.

The Greta Impact

Thunberg first started campaigning for more action on environmental issues at the age of 15. She sat outside the Swedish parliament on her own in August 2018. She protested with a hand-painted sign for more action to be taken to fight the climate crisis.

Thunberg—the founder of Fridays For Future, a global movement that has inspired millions of school children to stand up for environmental issues—is still demanding more action from politicians and big companies.

Last year, at a UN climate conference in New York, she made her feelings clear on the issue of young people shouldering the burden of the climate change fight. She said: “How dare you? I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?”

According to MPMA’s survey, more than a third of parents said their children looked up to Thunberg. More than a third also admitted that their kids know more about recycling than they do.

A Learning Opportunity for Parents

“Children are now learning about how to be green at school. People like Greta Thunberg prove popular,” a spokesperson for MPMA told The Independent. “Many youngsters know more about recycling than their parents.”

According to the survey, one in five parents threw recyclable items into the rubbish because they were confused.

“It’s great to see that so many parents are being picked up on things they may not be doing correctly when it comes to recycling—even if it is by their children,” the spokesperson added.

“Children are very enthusiastic about the environment and it could be an opportunity for people to learn about what they can be doing more of to improve their recycling.”