Movie star's support for superhero teen's mission to save world
Teenager Arlian Ecker is on a mission to save the world from plastic pollution by campaigning to stop the use of single-use items like bottles and straws.
When he was 11, he started his campaign after seeing three rehabilitated sea turtles being released back into the ocean.
He made a documentary alongside his mother, Karin Ecker, to show other children how bad the problem is.
"There's a lot of plastic in our ocean and it's killing sea turtles and lots of sea life," he told A Current Affair's Chris Allen.
On stage at the 2019 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors' Forum, held in Brisbane, Arlian told listeners, "To do nothing will cost my future. It will cost your children's future and grandchildren's future."
"When I'm 42 - in 2050 - there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish," he said.
"What is millions of children's future going to look like if this keeps on going the way it is?"
More than 120,000 school children have now watched Arlian's documentary, and that doesn't include the number of kids who have watched his message about plastic pollution and the ocean on YouTube.
The 13-year-old schoolboy, commonly known for his superhero identity 'Plastic Free Boy,' has now been invited to speak at more conferences both here and overseas. Arlian's work has even captured the attention of Hollywood celebrity and fellow Byron Bay resident Chris Hemsworth.
"Chris Hemsworth made a little blurb for me talking about how impressed he was with what I'm doing and what lots of other kids are doing ... I'm hoping to do more future activities with him as well," Arlian said.
Arlian's proud mum, who is a filmmaker, creates resources with Arlian to send out to schools globally to, they hope, create a movement.
"I believe he can be a young David Attenborough - a young voice that empowers the young people," Karin said.
Eight-year-old Lochie Davis from Victoria has been encouraged to join Arlian's plastic-free campaign after watching the 'Plastic Alarm' documentary.
"We watched your trailer for the 'Plastic Alarm' film and it inspired me to sort of not use plastic," Lochie said.
Lochie's mum Rebecca Davis said, "He's remembered that campaign for a year now and since our trip to Byron Bay he got inspired again."
Arlian sells t-shirts with his 'Plastic Free Boy' logo and other items to raise money to fund his campaign.
"T-shirts, keep cups. We sell some beeswax wraps as well and these t-shirts with the logo - everything with the logo," Arlian said.
"Not using single use plastic is turtley cool!"
Arlian is now raising funds to make a second documentary about the effects of plastic on the Great Barrier Reef.
You can view Plastic Free Boy's Facebook page here.
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