Once upon a time, there was a plastic bottle...
Finally, the time has come. He has been looking forward to it for weeks: Levi is going on vacation with his parents. The long-awaited vacation had been planned for months, but tomorrow is finally the day of departure. Levi is as hyper as a bouncing ball and has already gone through his list of clothes and toys at least three times. 'Are you sure I have everything with me, Mom?", he sounds the last few days before departure. 'Yes honey, I'm convinced,' Levi's mom replied calmly and a tad tense. Jayden and Olivia, Levi's parents, have been on many trips together, but tomorrow is their first time traveling with their son Levi.
It is the middle of the night. Levi is woken up by his father. 'Wake up, honey,' it sounds softly from the room. Levi did his best to make it look like he was sleeping very deeply. In reality, he hadn't slept a wink. He jumped out of bed, put on his clothes, and was the first one at the door with his suitcase. Maaammm, when are we going?" he called from the hall.
About twenty hours later, Levi, Jayden and Olivia arrived in Bali. They will spend the next few weeks in beautiful Denpasar. A city in Indonesia, located on the south coast of the island of Bali. The capital of the island is located right by the Indian Ocean. And that ocean has stuck with Levi ever since geography class.
Levi has been busy these past weeks, not only with the vacation, but also with 'the ocean'. During the geography lesson at school, he was shown for the first time what an ocean is, where you can find it and what is a big problem in oceans these days: plastic soup. That's a large collection of plastic waste floating around in the ocean. Mr. Kolk, Levi's geography teacher, has often talked to him after school about the plastic problem in the oceans. This has upset Levi so much that he has come home from school several times feeling sad. That is why he wants to contribute to an environmentally friendly world during his vacation. One of the reasons Levi couldn't wait for this trip.
In Levi's suitcase there's not only JUJA Wear's UV-resistant swimwear, but also scoop nets. He got these as a gift from his geography teacher. Mr. Kolk challenged Levi to persuade his parents to spend a day shoveling plastic from the ocean. If Levi succeeds, he may, together with Mr. Kolk, give a speech about plastic soup to all teachers of the school.
The weeks in Bali fly by. Yet, Levi has been nagging his parents for days to go to Jimbaran Bay. A beautiful beach on the Indian Ocean. This place is very touristy according to Mr. Kolk, and therefore also very suitable to look for plastic soup. In one of the last weeks, the time has come: the alarm clock rings early on the morning of departure. A red flashing 05:00 is shown on the alarm clock. Levi jumps out of bed and runs to his parents' bedroom. "Dad, mom, it's time!", he yells just a little too loudly on this early morning. Something Levi doesn't know yet is that his parents have arranged a boat trip with a local in Bali for him as a surprise. This is because he wants to contribute to a better environment.
Once he arrives at the beach, Levi runs with his plastic fishing net in the direction of the ocean. His mother calls him back and introduces him to Bedjo. The man who will sail them around the Indian Ocean this morning, looking for plastic soup. Levi looks his eyes out on the boat. He gets his hands on a large, professional scoop net and manages to scoop out various plastic materials from the ocean. All the products in the ocean caught Levi's attention, but one bottle in particular, which has been in a corner of the boat since he boarded. 'This PET bottle was left by someone on the beach,' Bedjo knows how to tell about the bottle. That must have been a Dutch holidaymaker because the text on the bottle is in Dutch. Bedjo tells that he was talking to a Dutch lady on the beach and that she left this bottle on the beach when she left. Bedjo showed a selfie of them together to Levi. 'Maybe you know her by chance.' Levi is startled. 'That's...' he mumbles. 'Who is that, dear?', his mother asks. 'That's the headmistress of the school, mom.'
Levi decides to take the PET bottle with him to Holland and prepares his speaking engagement that same vacation. After all, he has fulfilled the agreement with his geography teacher. He can't wait to return the PET bottle to the headmistress of his school after his vacation. 'I hope she can give the PET bottle a second life, instead of the bottle causing nature's pollution,' he says determinedly.
Weeks later, all the classrooms at Levi's school are full of PET bottles that have been given a second life: bird feeders, planters and the most beautiful crafts. Levi feels proud. He has taken a first step towards a cleaner ocean. On to the next!