Here is a list of organizations (in no order of priority) that are focusing their efforts on the plastic pollution problem and providing opportunities for you to step in and be the change you want to see in the sea. So dive in and catch that wave that turns you on. This list is in embryonic stage: stayed tune as we will continually be adding to it. If you know of organizations doing good work, let us know and we will check them out.
Plastic Ocean Foundation
The creators of the award-winning documentary A Plastic Ocean have created this foundation with a mission: “We want to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation.”
Algalita Marine Research Foundation
Known as the discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Captain Moore, aboard the ORV Alguita, has made numerous research voyages to the North and South Pacific Garbage Patch Gyres. The result has been a body of authoritative research publications and educational programs. See his TED TALK below.
Plastic Pollution Coalition
A Blue Ocean Network ocean ally, the Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers. The collaborative platform is focused on creating a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, waterways and oceans, and the environment. Founder and plastic artist Dianna Cohen was interviewed during our Blue Ocean Summit 2015, read our article: Our Plastic Seas: There is No Away – Dianna Cohen. Watch Dianna’s TED TALK here.
The work of Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins has uncovered the rate of deterioration of plastic in the worlds ocean gyres. There are no longer “islands of plastic” but a global plastic smog that is sweeping around the earth, smothering our ocean and its sea life. The organziation has produced a slough of valuable scientific publications, including the latest Plastics BAN List 2.0 that provides an overview of the top polluting plastics an d better alternatives now (BAN) available. Here’s an overview of the 5 Gyres work with Marcus Eriksen.
THE PLASTIC BANK
Some of the biggest sources of ocean plastic are from the poorest of countries. The Plastic Bank recognizes that plastic is an asset that creates recyclers and valuable “currency” that the poor can use and benefit from. The Plastic Bank has created the world’s largest chain of stores for the very poor, where everything can be purchased in exchange for plastic garbage. This has closed the loop towards a circular economy, creating plastic neutrality (like carbon neutrality) that sustains people and the ocean. The plastic is processed and resold to companies like Henkel and Marks & Spencer who purchase “social plastic” for their products. See founder David Katz’s TEDX film here:
Litteratti is a crowd-sourced mapping model that serves to clean up the world. It is a community that is collecting data using a phone app called Litterati. The app curates crowd-sourced photos of litter from all over the world, and each photo tells a story. The data tells who picked up what item, a time stamp tells when and geotagging tells where. The data is used in surprising ways. Watch the video, download the app on iTunes or Google Play and join the litterati movement.
Story of Stuff
A BON ocean ally, The Story of Stuff Project is changing the way we make, use, and throw away Stuff so that we have a happier and healthier planet. They have created a community of more than a million changemakers worldwide, working to build a more healthy and just planet. Watch and share their fun and informative movies, participate in study programs and join their campaigns. They are involved in microbead and microfiber campaigns with accompanying short movies, and are currently filming the Story of Plastic. Here is the original movie, The Story of Stuff.
Plastic Soup Foundation
The Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF) doesn’t want to get plastic out of the water. They want to halt plastics from entering the sea in the first place. The foundation is focused on microplastics that turn the enormous ocean garbage patches into plastic soup. PSF has many resources to help us choose products wisely. Check out this microbeads product list to keep microbeads out of your water system.
One More Generation
Youth founders Carter and Olivia and Ries are empowering youth to protect the environment to save endangered species. Their environmental conservation program focuses on plastics and their compelling talks are inspiring the next generation to take action at a young age. See our article: Empowering Youth Can Save Our Oceans: Take the OneLessStraw Pledge! Watch their TEDX Youth video here.
The Last Plastic Straw
The mission of this organization is to get people to consume fewer plastic straws: Plastic straws are not recyclable and yet ubiquitous in every restaurant and fast food outlet the world over. Their program to eliminate plastic straws from landfills streams and oceans is a based on a simple request: Just say “no straw” at bars & restaurants and share this commitment with others. They also provide businesses with resources to help explain their straw-free pledge to customers. Watch the trailer for the award-winning film Straws, featuring Last Plastic Straw Founder Jackie Nunez.
Champions of surf and sand, Surfrider is a community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground – the ocean, waves and beaches that provide us so much enjoyment. Their Plastic Straws Suck campaign has helped many environmental groups to bring the no-plastic straw to their own constituents. The Straws Suck campaign is having an impact on restaurants and the customers who frequent them. Learn the art of drinking without a straw here:
By Laurie Wilson, Blue Ocean Network
See These Related Blue Ocean Articles:
How To Get More Ocean-Hearted Intel Delivered To Your Inbox!
We believe ocean lovers can change the world. If you care about the health of the ocean and want to do something about it, then connect with the Blue Ocean tribe: Our growing community of ocean change-makers is turning ocean lovers into ocean leaders. It starts with you. Join us!