Covestro-CEO raises awareness of avoiding marine litter at Taipei School for the Hearing-Impaired

Fostering environmental protection

• Kick off of the Protecting the Ocean campaign • Introducing a storybook on preventing plastics from entering the ocean • Explaining waste management principles
Today, Covestro-CEO Patrick Thomas kicked off the first session of the Protecting the Ocean storytelling campaign for the 2017 school calendar year at the Taipei School for the Hearing-Impaired, located close to the Tamshui River.

Covestro announced on World Ocean Day that it intends to partner with five national museums and is expected to reach around 145 schools throughout Taiwan, mainly along the coast and rivers where the challenge of marine litter is most pressing.

“It is so important to find simple ways and language to create awareness for the protection of our planet among the very young. They will be able to change their and their parents’ behavior. For an island like Taiwan, protecting the ocean from marine litter is especially important,” said Patrick Thomas. “We at Covestro believe that plastics are far too valuable to end up in the ocean. It is time to turn off the tap. If everyone makes a small effort, we can make the world a brighter place.”
Patrick Thomas was reading in English from the storybook Brighter Minds for a Brighter World – the Adventures of Young Guardians, which narrates how three Earth guardians set out on a search for the root cause of marine litter. The reason for their quest is a sea turtle suffering injuries from a plastic straw. They discover that it is people’s improper behavior in disposing of plastics and a lack of awareness that causes plastic to end up in the oceans. The story ends with an illustration of the correct ways to dispose of waste, including waste classification knowledge as well as recycling, reducing and reusing technologies. Michelle Jou, Head of the Business Unit Polycarbonates of Covestro narrated the Chinese part of the session. 
“The marine littering is seriously damaging the Earth; this is an issue that we have to solve immediately,” said Principal Tzong-Ching Yeh of the Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired. “I feel honored that Covestro chose our school to kick off the storytelling project in Taiwan with its CEO. Not only is the environmental education program meaningful for the pupils, but hearing and using English can also have a very positive impact on their perspective for their future lives. Mr. Thomas is the first native English speaker to visit our School and English is a compulsory subject in the school’s curriculum.”

In addition to listening, the hearing-impaired students engaged in interactive activities to learn about waste management and also had to write down their own commitments to safeguard the planet. The sessions were translated by the school’s sign language teacher to enable children with no hearing ability at all to follow the session. Taipei School for the Hearing Impaired also plans to utilize the story and turn it into a stage play contest to raise awareness of the marine litter problem after the event.

Chinese/English and Thai/English versions of the Brighter Minds for a Brighter World storybook can be downloaded from:

Covestro has for a number of years engaged in STEM education in schools around Taiwan with its Covestro MagicMaterial School science education program. In June, Covestro held the Covestro MagicMaterial School program at three schools for hearing-impaired students.

Partners of the Protect the Ocean storytelling campaign:
To roll out the campaign for the 2017 school year, Covestro Taiwan has partnered with the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA), National Museum of Marine Science and Technology (NMMST), National Taiwan Science Education Center (NTSEC), National Museum of Nature Science (NMNS), and National Science and Technology Museum (NSTM) in Taiwan.

About Covestro:
With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and employs approximately 15,600 people (full-time equivalents) as of the end of 2016.

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