Ocean Plastics Media Scan February 2020
Disclaimer: This media scan is intended to share current news and information related to ocean plastics. Items included are not endorsed by and do not represent the views of USAID or the U.S. Government.
SunStar Bacolod: Summit underscores addressing plastic pollution efforts, cooperation
USAID grantee Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc (PRRCFI) hosted the Plastic Waste Solutions Summit in Bacolod City, Philippines to celebrate the milestones of PRRCFI’s Sea Waste Education to Eradicate Plastic (SWEEP) project, implemented under USAID’s Municipal Waste Recycling Program. The summit featured solid waste management best practices developed over the course of the two-year project and facilitated knowledge exchange through panel discussions, exhibits, and presentations. The SWEEP team also transferred information, education and communication toolkits for partners to maintain the campaign’s momentum. In a statement, PFFCFI said, “As the project is coming to a close, the summit provided a meaningful climax for SWEEP and its partners to sustain the work of reducing ocean plastic for cleaner seas and healthier fisheries.”
The newly launched Reducing Waste in Coastal Cities (RWCC) initiative is working with independent waste collector organizations in select coastal cities in West Africa and South America to increase awareness of the role waste collectors play in reducing ocean plastic waste and to strengthen waste collector organizations’ effectiveness. RWCC Project Officer Taylor Cass Talbott shares the challenges and opportunities of involving independent waste collectors in the global effort to tackle ocean plastic pollution in this interview.
Circulate Capital: Circulate Capital Launches US$106M Ocean Fund
In partnership with USAID, Circulate Capital has established the world’s first investment fund dedicated to funding start-ups and small businesses developing waste management and recycling solutions that prevent ocean plastic pollution in South and Southeast Asia. Watch this video to learn more about the fund’s vision and objectives.
Nestlé and Project Stop received support from the regional government of Pasuruan in East Java, Indonesia to move forward with the installation of a materials recovery facility, a key component in creating a waste management system for communities in the area. According to Nestlé, currently only 9% of Pasuruan residents have access to waste management services, leaving most residents with no other option than dumping their waste into the marine environment. The materials recovery facility will be used to introduce waste collection, segregation and recycling processes for the first time ever in two of Pasuruan’s municipalities.
The severity of the ocean plastics pollution crisis has led The Pew Charitable Trusts to undertake a two-year initiative to identify the most effective strategies to address the marine plastic problem. Working with the global consulting firm SYSTEMIQ, Pew is conducting a global analysis that will quantify ocean plastic pollution between 2016 and 2040 under different scenarios. The initiative is also engaging with Duke University on a global plastics policy analysis that considers the responses to this issue by a range of governments around the world. Separately, Pew is working with a range of stakeholders to develop an evidence-based global roadmap for reducing marine plastic pollution, expected to be released in mid-2020.
National Geographic: An old-school plan to fight plastic pollution gathers steam
Loop, an online delivery service that uses sturdy, reusable containers to distribute products, is reintroducing the concept of returnable, refillable containers first piloted by Coca Cola’s glass bottles in the early 1920s. Loop stands out by pushing beyond the uniformity of returnable beverage bottles and sells more than 300 items, from food to laundry detergent, in containers of various sizes and made from various materials. The company’s signature product is Häagen-Dazs ice cream that comes packed inside an insulated stainless steel tub guaranteed to prevent its contents from melting. The company’s partners include Nestle, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Coca Cola, and Pepsico.
Money FM 89.3: Circling Around for a Sustainable Future
Listen to Claressa Monteiro, host of Money FM’s The Soul of Business, interview Circulate Capital Founder and CEO Rob Kaplan on how the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund will provide both debt and equity financing to waste management, recycling, and circular economy companies in South and Southeast Asia. Kaplan says: “Right now we have a take-make-waste supply chain– we take material out of the environment, we make products, and we waste them– that’s a linear system. How do we bend that curve into a circle where all of the plastic we’ve produced today are the resource for future products?”
eXXpedition: Track the Boat
eXXpedition is a Community Interest Company and not-for-profit organization that runs all-female sailing research expeditions to conduct scientific research investigating the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution. In October 2019, the organization launched its biggest project yet, eXXpedition Round the World. This project will see 300 multidisciplinary women sail 30 voyages over a two-year period. Track the crew’s progress along their route and stay up to date with findings!