Of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that has ever been produced over the last six decades, 6.3 billion metric tons of it has become plastic waste. Only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority left is accumulating in landfills or polluting the environment.
Detroit Southeastern girls’ volleyball team is doing its part to battle the world plastic pollution crisis by holding a plastic bottle and can drive Friday, August 24 at the high school (3030 Fairview, 48214). The team will be accepting recyclable cans and plastic bottles to put toward funds for new team gear and equipment for the upcoming season. The 2018 season begins September 6 for the Lady Jungaleers versus East English Village Prep and Pershing.
“When people drink a pop or a water, they normally toss the can or bottle in the garbage or on the ground,” said second-year head coach Ricardo Brown. “Those cans and bottles have a monetary value and collecting them not only helps us raise some money, but it will help clean the environment and recycle.
“Being in the inner-city, there isn’t a lot of money for athletics. We are trying to fundraise to help the school purchase shoes, team gear, equipment, and other teams needs that we might not get from the school district. We want to help promote our program and the school, trying to inform young ladies that Southeastern does have a volleyball program.”
The Lady Jungaleers did not win a single game last season. Brown, who is also the head girls’ basketball coach at the east side of Detroit school, has tried to change the culture around the two programs and feels the plastic bottle and can drive helps create a sense of community amongst his teams and the surrounding East Village neighborhood.
“Events like this helps us reach the community and allows people to get to know who we are,” Brown said. “These girls are doing something positive in the community and hopefully people will see that and want to donate, as well as come to the volleyball games. The stands were kind of empty last season and we want the Mack (Avenue) community to support us.
“We know that there are lot of Southeastern graduates in Detroit and we want them to know that Southeastern is coming back. We want the alumni to help us and possibly stay for the football game that will be after.”
The volleyball team is accepting can and plastic bottle donations up until Friday, but donors can show up to the school that day and drop-off all donations to the team and coaching staff from 3-5 p.m. The team is also scheduling donation pick-ups for those who do not have reliable transportation. Coach Brown can be reached by phone at 586-241-4670 or on social media.
“We hope everyone comes out to support our girls,” said Brown. “The girls have been putting in work over the summer and we should be able to win at least one game this season.”