Breteau Foundation’s Plastic Changemakers programme aims to reach 1 million children

The Breteau Foundation, joined by influential figures from the South African education and environmental sectors, has officially launched the Plastic Changemakers programme at the Two Oceans Aquarium. 

The Two Oceans Aquarium was abuzz with excitement as The Breteau Foundation launched its groundbreaking initiative in Africa – the Plastic Changemakers programme. The Breteau Foundation’s Plastic Changemakers premier and launch event brought together prominent individuals and organisations committed to addressing plastic pollution, one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time.

Plastics, including microplastics, have pervaded our natural surroundings, making both a devastating and lasting impact. Despite current efforts, it is estimated that 75-199 million tonnes of plastic are currently found in our oceans. Unless we change how we produce, use, and dispose of plastic, the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could nearly triple from 9-14 million tonnes per year in 2016 to a projected 23-37 million tonnes per year by 2040, as stated by the United Nations Environment Programme

With this pressing environmental issue at the forefront, the Plastic Changemakers launch event at the Two Oceans Aquarium welcomed the attendance of influential figures from various fields, including environmental experts, educators, government officials, and community leaders. 

Among these prestigious attendees were Ronald Mukanya, Director of Sustainability Management from the Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Panning, Bruce Probyn, Chairman of the Western Cape Education Council, Nozipho Mthembu, Foundation Phase Educator at Molo Mhlaba School for Girls, and Melissa Zackon, Programme & Operations Coordinator at Nature Connect. 

During an insightful panel discussion they shared their thoughts on plastic pollution within the South African education context.

“The challenge we face today is that  plastic is  a convenient product, it generates a significant amount of unnatural waste upon which we’ve grown dependent. Thus, the presumption is that plastic itself isn’t the issue, it’s human behaviour. The Breteau Foundation is doing groundbreaking work when it comes to addressing this challenge. 

“In educating children from foundation phases and up about plastic and its impact, we are able to influence their behavior at grassroots level, empowering children to be changemakers in their community,” says Mukanya.

Expanding upon Mukanya’s comments regarding the necessity of shaping human behaviour at the grassroots level, Probyn highlights the potential transformative effect that altering our discourse on plastic pollution can wield within our communities: 

“In educating our children about plastic without overly emphasising its negative aspects we encourage them to comprehend it in terms of accumulation, its removal, and the adverse effects of plastic contents on our well-being. In altering the language we use, and reaching children on their level through channels like the ‘Miraculous™: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir’ Action episode, we can teach them about plastic’s impact in ways that are more relatable to them. In doing so, we can foster Earth Warriors who view plastic not as litter, but as a resource to be responsibly managed. Learning indirectly, without explicitly framing it as ‘litter’ or ‘saving the environment,’ has proven to be a remarkably effective, albeit ongoing challenge when it comes to instilling both knowledge and a sense of responsibility for litter and ecological awareness,” says Probyn.

At the heart of the launch event was the unveiling of the Plastic Changemakers programme – a free, ready-to-use educational initiative developed by The Breteau Foundation. This programme consists of five modules and a number of free resources that can be adapted to national school curricula on a global basis. The programme and its resources were designed to equip teachers and students with the knowledge, confidence, and solutions to create ambassadors for change in the fight against plastic pollution.

Forming an integral part of the Plastic Changemakers programme is the ‘Miraculous™: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir’ episode. In a groundbreaking collaboration, The Breteau Foundation joined forces with ZAG and Method Animation (Mediawan Kids & Family), the visionary creators behind the immensely popular animated series ‘Miraculous™: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir’. They co-produced the episode ‘Action’ with the aim of raising awareness about the worldwide plastic crisis. The episode was screened live for the first time on African soil during the launch event, and had the room filled with educators and industry leaders buzzing with compliments.

“It’s genius of The Breteau Foundation to leverage the popularity of these characters and introduce the real-world issue of plastic pollution to an already captive audience. In raising these issues and inserting them into these kids’ favourite animated superhero stories, The Breteau Foundation is engaging and educating young minds through beloved characters they can easily relate to,” says Mthembu.

The episode will be shared worldwide on platforms like Disney and YouTube in the coming months. The entire Plastic Changemakers programme, including the educational modules, is available now for free to stream and download on The Breteau Foundation’s website at – this includes the five modules for teachers and children as well as the Miraculous™ – Action episode.

About The Breteau Foundation

Established in 2014, The Breteau Foundation’s mission is to maximise children’s future potential by providing equitable access to quality education through bespoke teacher training, educational content, and digital tools. Reaching over 100,000 children across 13 countries globally in Europe & the UK, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean regions, The Breteau Foundation is a non-profit organisation that believes in quality education for all children, regardless of background or location.

About the Plastic Changemakers programme

The Plastic Changemakers programme aims to inspire and empower over 1 million primary school children worldwide to take action against plastic pollution in their homes and communities. Through a comprehensive education pack and an engaging episode, the programme equips children with the knowledge and tools to become ambassadors for change in the fight against plastic.

The ‘Action’ episode and Plastic Changemaker Education Pack is available to stream and download (respectively) for FREE via The Breteau Foundation website: 

About Mediawan Kids & Family –

Mediawan Kids & Family, a division of Europe’s leading independent studio Mediawan, excels in producing and distributing top-tier children and family content globally. With headquarters in France, it comprises five production labels, including Method Animation, a recognized leader in animated TV series for audiences of all ages. Method Animation boasts an impressive portfolio, including the global sensation ‘Miraculous™: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir’. The division also manages the distribution of Mediawan Group’s extensive content catalogue and oversees intellectual property management from production to licensing and merchandising.

About ZAG –

ZAG is a leading global independent entertainment studio specialising in compelling storytelling across TV, film, and digital platforms. Rooted in captivating characters and imaginative narratives paired with original music, ZAG HEROEZ, one of its signature labels, features renowned properties like ‘Miraculous™: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir’ and Ghostforce. Founded by visionary director and composer Jeremy Zag, ZAG Kids and Family Entertainment Group began in France in 2009 and expanded to the USA in 2012 with a Global Brand Franchise office in Santa Monica, California. ZAG’s global presence spans offices in Paris, London, Montreal, Santa Monica, Miami, Mexico, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv, Dubai, and Shenzhen. ZAG’s Consumer Products Division, encompassing licensing, merchandising, gaming, promotions, and toys, extends the brand experience beyond screens, inspiring the new generation to discover their true character.

About Miraculous™ 

‘Miraculous™: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir’ continues to captivate audiences worldwide as a beloved superhero saga. It has earned recognition as one of IMDb’s Top 10 Best Animated Shows of the past two decades. With a global presence in over 120 countries and the release of the superhero blockbuster, ‘Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie,’ in July 2023, the series maintains its widespread appeal. Boasting a core audience of 52% girls and 48% boys aged 6-12, along with a dedicated fan base of young adults known as ‘Miraculers’ (ages 15-25), Miraculous has become a digital sensation, amassing over 35 billion views on YouTube (including authorised and user-generated content), over 250 million app downloads, and more than 550 million plays on Roblox. The franchise has also achieved remarkable retail success, with over 280 million products sold, resulting in global retail sales exceeding US$1 billion to date. Additionally, Miraculous has garnered acclaim, including the prestigious title of Best Animated Series in the Kids Programming category at the 2023 Kidscreen Awards, accumulating a total of 30 awards.