A Voice for Our Ocean

Ocean Conservancy Aims to Make Orlando Trash-Free

New Study is Critical First Step to Protect Lakes from Plastic Pollution in Orlando

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ORLANDO, FL  In the first major step since launching their partnership, Ocean Conservancy and the City of Orlando are working with a team of scientists from the University of Georgia to determine the city’s major sources of plastic pollution in an effort to protect local lakes and make Orlando trash-free.

During a news conference on Tuesday, members of Ocean Conservancy and researchers from the University of Georgia –  in town to conduct the Circularity Assessment Protocol (CAP) study – discussed how the results of this study can be used to reduce plastic waste. It will give city officials concrete data to answer key decision-making questions such as how plastic is used and disposed of, what actions can be taken to change the way it’s used, how circularity can be increased, and how to identify and reduce the waste that can end up on the ground and ultimately in Orlando’s lakes.

“When we announced the Shores Forward partnership with the City of Orlando in April, we promised action.  The CAP study is the first step towards making a real impact and reducing plastic pollution and waste.” said Jon Paul “J.P.” Brooker, director of Florida Conservation for Ocean Conservancy. “This study will help us determine where the debris comes from, which is imperative in order to stop it.”

“While accurately documenting visible litter on land and in water is crucial, the CAP study encompasses a comprehensive approach,” explains Taylor Maddalene, Director of the Circularity Assessment Protocol at the Circularity Informatics Lab, University of Georgia.

“In addition to assessing litter, we analyze product offerings and packaging at local stores, evaluate waste management practices, and engage closely with community members to gain insight into local conservation perspectives. This inclusive process, conducted in collaboration with local partners and the city, aims to identify strengths and recommend actionable steps to enhance circularity and prevent plastic pollution in the environment.”

“Orlando is home to more than a hundred lakes and waterways, which are vital to the beauty and sustainability of our city. We know that what happens here has an impact on our oceans, and we have great momentum and dedication to conservation, ” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We’re proud to partner with Ocean Conservancy to take yet another step to keep Florida and our oceans beautiful for generations to come.”

Once the CAP study is complete, Ocean Conservancy and the City of Orlando will partner with organizations to develop community efforts to help carry out the recommendations and propose new strategies that the city could adopt to protect local lakes and waterways.

In a similar partnership, Ocean Conservancy conducted the CAP study in the City of Miami. More details about that study can be found here. The full Miami CAP report is available here.



About Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


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