The scale of ocean pollution mankind is facing today is massive: 9 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year.
To mark #WorldOceansDay, here are 3 initiatives which raise awareness on this problem.
1. National Geographic – Planet or Plastic?
In 2018, National Geographic launched a global initiative focused on raising awareness on ocean plastic pollution and its disastrous effects on marine life and ecosystem: the Planet or Plastic campaign.
The renowned magazine dedicated its June issue in its entirety to the Planet or Plastic campaign and also leveraged its digital channels to gain traction and earn media attention.
- #PlanetorPlastic was shared over 1,000,000 times, within the first week;
- +8 billion views in online readership;
- Celebrities and influencers jumped in on the action, amplifying the message, and contributing to the conversation;
- People started to reconsider their choices;
- 400+ companies have changed their policies, regarding single-use plastics;
- +200,000,000 pieces of plastic have been prevented from entering the ocean;
- The US Senate assembled to address the issue of man-made trash polluting the ocean.
The Planet or Plastic campaign won People’s Voice at 2019 Webby for Good Awards.
2. The Plastic Oceans Foundation & LAD Bible – Trash Isles
There is a huge amount of plastic trash polluting our oceans. In fact, an area of trash the size of France has formed in the Pacific ocean. So why not turn this area into an official country?
To get the attention of the United Nations and the public on the problem of plastic pollution, the Plastic Oceans Foundation and LAD Bible teamed up and devised a PR campaign entitled Trash Isles.
In 2017, on World Oceans Day, the Plastic Oceans Foundation and LadBible submitted an application to the United Nations to recognise Trash Isles as an official country. Because if it is recognised as an official country, then other countries are obliged to help clean it up.
- 200,000+ citizens of Trash Isles;
- 50 million video views;
- 500 million people reached;
- Judi Dench, Al Gore, Sir David Attenborough took on the roles of Trash Isles ambassadors.
The Trash Isles campaign won Grand Prix at the 2018 Cannes Lions awards.
3. EcoAlf Foundation – Upcycling the Oceans
Upcycling the Oceans is the ambitious project of EcoAlf Foundation, set up by Javier Goyeneche, founder of EcoAlf, a Spanish company which turns plastic sea waste into high-quality fashion products. Their slogan is Because There Is No Planet B.
Upcycling the Oceans project (UTO) collects the trash that is destroying our oceans and turns it into top quality yarn to produce fabrics and products.
The project started in September 2015 in the Mediterranean Coast of Levante (Spain). To date, more than 200 tons/year of marine debris has been recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean sea.
In 2016, the Ecoalf Foundation started the Upcycling the Oceans project in Thailand and is planning to expand worldwide.
- one sweatshirt alone saves 6200 litres of water;
- zero waste design;
- 380 tons of marine debris recovered;
- sustainable fashion: EcoAlf created Sea Yarn, a new 100% recycled filament which is made of the plastic bottle collection found at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea;
- More than 120 million plastic bottles recycled so far;
- 28% reduction of greenhouse gases emissions;
- Production of 1000 kg of fabric saves the equivalent of 955 kg of crude oil.
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