Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Ocean Conservancy ocean plastic

Green Economy

Ocean Conservancy Fund Targets 5 Worst Ocean Plastic Polluters

The Ocean Conservancy is partnering with several corporations, non-profits and government agencies to reduce the flow of plastic waste into the oceans from Southeast Asian countries.

Editor’s Note: After our recent story about the annual International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, we got several comments saying it would be better to write about such things before they happen rather than afterwards. We agree. So we reached out to the Ocean Conservancy and asked to be notified when they have news to report. The following story is the first fruit of that collaboration.


Nearly half of the estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic that flow into the world’s ocean every year originate in just five rapidly developing economies in Asia — Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and China. At its recent Our Ocean 2017 conference, the Ocean Conservancy announced it is seeking to raise over $150 million in new funding to prevent plastic waste from leaking in to our ocean. The money will be used to design and build waste management and recycling systems in Southeast Asia. The focus will be on investments to improve collection, sorting and recycling markets.

Ocean Conservancy ocean plastic“This is a major breakthrough in the fight for trash-free seas,” said Susan Ruffo, managing director of international initiatives at Ocean Conservancy. “Our research has found that by improving waste management in Southeast Asian countries, we can cut the flow of plastic going in the ocean by half by 2025. A funding mechanism will take this goal from dream to reality, and support efforts by governments and local groups on the ground to improve their livelihoods and well-being while also improving ocean health.”

The new funding mechanism will be operated by Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm that focuses on companies, technology and recycling facilities that turn waste products into valuable resources. Demonstrating that such waste management systems can be successful in developing countries will attract other private and public actors to support other recycling efforts.

“Through this initiative, we will invest in and support the municipalities, entrepreneurs, investors and NGOs working to reduce ocean plastics and improve waste management in Southeast Asia,” said Rob Kaplan of Closed Loop Partners. “Our investments across North America — from recycling collection in Tennessee to developing new end markets for waste plastics in Louisiana — have resulted in tangible improvements to waste collection and recycling.

“Our model is to take the best practices in waste management investment, leverage the world’s largest consumer goods supply chains, and marry them with on-the-ground partner expertise and work.”

The new Ocean Conservancy initiative addressed the root causes of plastics in the ocean by investing in the systems and emerging technologies needed to capture and transform waste into valuable commodities before it reaches marine environments. The goal is to make waste collection and recycling profitable so there is a positive incentive not to discard plastic refuse in the rivers that flow through Southeast Asia and carry the floating detritus out to sea.

The initiative is supported by several partners, including the Trash Free Seas Alliance, Closed Loop Partners, PepsiCo, 3M, Procter & Gamble, the American Chemistry Council, and the World Plastics Council.

“P&G is proud to be a part of this initiative,” said Jack McAneny, director of sustainability at Procter & Gamble. “Plastics play an important role in commerce, but they clearly don’t belong in our waterways and oceans. Thanks to the vision of Ocean Conservancy, we now have a multi-stakeholder collaborative effort that can drive the kind of innovation and scale that we need to stop the flow of plastics to the environment and ideally give these materials a second life.”

The Ocean Conservancy and its partners expect to share the results of the initial phase of work within the next year. It expects the results will help increase the number of people and organizations interested in investing in plastic recycling systems and technology.

Graphic credits: Ocean Conservancy.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

Comments

You May Also Like

Green Economy

Underwater explorers encounter ghost gear and other ocean plastic pollution, but solutions are coming.

Green Economy

It's always a good time to talk about the ocean plastic problem, especially when the biggest-ever Sharkfest series is unspooling on Disney+ and National...

Policy & Politics

Ocean Conservancy scientists estimate that newly passed California law will eliminate 23 million tons of plastics in the next 10 years — equivalent to...

Green Economy

Ford can't solve the ocean plastic crisis with one tiny little recycled plastic clip, but it can help raise public pressure for solutions.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.