Bali, INDONESIA – The Trash Free Seas Alliance® announced today at the fifth Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Indonesia that the group has collectively committed more than $100 million in funding for research and incubation of scalable solutions to the ocean plastic crisis and eliminated 500,000 tons of virgin plastic from products and packaging annually. Launched by Washington-based NGO Ocean Conservancy in 2012, the Alliance brings together leaders from the private sector, civil society organizations, and academia to identify pragmatic and measurable solutions to the ocean plastic crisis.
“Ocean plastic pollution is a complex problem that requires a suite of solutions,” said Nick Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® program. “We need to focus on drastically improving our reduction, reuse, and recycling plastics, but we also need to redesign our products and rethink the products we produce and use. It’s also imperative that we ensure proper waste collection and recycling systems are in place in all communities to deal with plastic waste currently in the system. The commitments put forth by Alliance members represent the much needed cross-sector collaboration that is needed to minimize, manage and mitigate ocean plastic pollution.”
In 2010, Ocean Conservancy supported the convening of an independent, scientific working group to study the sources, fate and impacts of ocean plastics. That working group led to research published in the journal Science in 2015 showing that eight million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, much of it from just a few rapidly developing countries in Southeast Asia where waste management has not kept pace with economic growth. Since then, Alliance members have committed to investing in waste collection and management solutions as well as changes in their products to address this reality.
“From the outset the Trash Free Seas Alliance® has spearheaded critical research into the ocean plastic problem and truly taken that research to heart,” said Chever Voltmer, Plastic Initiatives Director at Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® program. “We know that investing in waste management in key geographies and curbing use of virgin plastics are important steps that the private sector can take; and that’s exactly what Alliance members have announced today. We look forward to continuing our shared fight for trash-free seas.”
Collectively, Alliance members will work in over 100 countries and 1,000 cities to advance marine debris and waste management solutions through policy, education, research, and collaborative initiatives, engaging 1 million people annually in direct, on the ground action to combat marine debris and raising awareness on the threats of marine debris to over 1 billion people globally.
Trash Free Seas Alliance® members include:
Algalita Marine Research and Education
American Chemistry Council
Bank of America
The Coca-Cola Company
The Consumer Goods Forum
Dart Container Corporation
The Dow Chemical Company
Keep America Beautiful
The Marine Mammal Center
Nestlé Waters North America Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings LTD.
Ocean Recovery Alliance
The Procter & Gamble Company
The Recycling Partnership
Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean
World Animal Protection US
World Plastics Council
World Wildlife Fund US
About the Trash Free Seas Alliance®
Launched by Ocean Conservancy in 2012, the Trash Free Seas Alliance® brings together thought leaders from industry, conservation and academia to create a forum for pragmatic, real-world collaboration focused on the measurable reduction of ocean trash. Visit the Trash Free Seas Alliance® webpage for more information.
About Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.