Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) is USAID’s flagship program for combatting ocean plastic pollution. The program works globally to target ocean plastics directly at their source, focusing on rapidly urbanizing areas that contribute significantly to the estimated eight million metric tons of plastic that flow into the ocean each year.
The amount of plastic pollution flowing into the ocean is reaching crises levels, and the human, economic, and environmental costs are mounting. To stem the tide of plastic pollution, CCBO:
- promotes and provides support for strategies to reduce, reuse, recycle, and better manage solid waste;
- enhances policy and governance for increased effectiveness;
- influences action through social behavior change; and
- builds partnerships with the private sector for maximal impact and sustainability.
CCBO’s grants program is designed to identify and implement locally-led, sustainable solutions and approaches that support the program’s objectives and combat ocean plastics pollution directly at the source. CCBO is seeking the support of grantees throughout its focal countries and currently has several opportunities available for application. Learn more about current opportunities and how to apply.
Promote reducing, reusing, and recycling practices—the 3Rs—and strengthen markets for recycled plastic
The 3Rs and improved waste management systems are effective ways of reducing the volume of waste flowing into our oceans and waterways, but rely on strong, incentivized recycling markets, supportive infrastructure, and a suitable enabling environment. To accomplish this, CCBO works to identify and establish incentives for strengthened reuse and recycling markets, improve infrastructure through locally-relevant innovative technologies, and enhance service delivery models for increased efficiency and revenues. The program prioritizes locally-centered strategies that empower individuals, provide increased economic opportunity for women and men, and address sectoral health and safety challenges.
Improve local implementation and enforcement of laws, policies, and regulations
Although many countries have local- and national-level laws to safeguard public health and the environment, regulate waste management and reduction, and even incentivize and strengthen recycling and reuse markets, implementation and enforcement is often challenged by limited support, resources, and system complexity. CCBO supports focal country partners to develop, implement, and enforce regulatory measures that address local challenges, improve financing options, and enhance the livelihoods of the millions that work in or are otherwise impacted by the sector.
Build social behavior change for 3Rs and sustainable solid waste management
CCBO works to shift ingrained recycling and solid waste behaviors in households, businesses, and in government to actively support the 3Rs and improved waste management. The program uses a participatory approach, working hand in hand with community members, local organizations, and women, youth, and independent waste collectors, with support from both the public and private sectors.
Forge new private sector partnerships for improved impact, sustainability, and forward-looking commitments
Around the world, momentum and interest in combating ocean plastics pollution is rapidly increasing; however, global success requires coordination, partnerships, and continued, rapid learning about the associated issues and potential, locally-relevant solutions. CCBO works to build sustainable partnerships, increase the capacity and knowledge of those that can offer support, and garner commitments from the public sector, multi-stakeholder alliances, and intergovernmental organizations for continued progress—within and beyond the program’s lifetime.
Global challenge, local solutions
In collaboration with global, regional, national, and local stakeholders, from 2019-2024, CCBO will test, scale, and share inclusive and sustainable solutions to promote 3R practices, improve waste management, and combat plastic pollution in focal countries across the world. Initial core focal areas for the program’s work include countries in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, selected in accordance with the regions’ sizable contributions to the global tide of ocean plastics pollution.
Asia is home to the top five largest ocean plastic polluting countries—which produce an estimated 23% of the world’s waste. Across the globe, countries like Peru—which generates an estimated 18,000 tons of waste per day—and the Dominican Republic have tremendous potential to also lessen their impact.
CCBO is dedicated to identifying local challenges, opportunities, and practices to develop locally-relevant solutions that are tailored to individual public and private sector actors, local realities, community members, and waste value chains.
For general inquiries about Clean Cities, Blue Ocean, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions specific to grant opportunities, please contact email@example.com.
Like many beaches around the world, the Dominican Republic’s once pristine beaches are now increasingly bombarded with plastic waste. Storms frequently carry waste from inland communities, down rivers and streams to low-lying areas, and eventually into the sea.
Globally, the Philippines is the third-largest source of ocean-bound, discarded plastic waste. It is estimated that twenty percent of the country’s 2.7 million tons of annual plastic waste ends up in the oceans, fueled largely by high consumer consumption and dependence on single use plastics. Reducing the outflow of plastic has become a top priority of national and local governments, as well as many community and non-governmental organizations, who have already begun individual efforts to turn the tide.
Sri Lanka and the Maldives
Sri Lanka is home to accelerating economic development, a growing tourism sector, as well as environmentally significant land-based and marine natural resources. However, consumer waste particularly in coastal communities, tourism, and rapid development are contributing to the estimated 1.59 metric tons of plastic and polythene waste that make their way into the ocean from Sri Lanka each year. Over the last years, awareness of plastic pollution has grown in Sri Lanka as a common concern for the environment, tourism, and the country’s declining fisheries.
Vietnam’s contribution to ocean plastic pollution is estimated at 28 to 73 million tons per year—or 6% of the total worldwide volume. At current rates, this is predicted to increase by 10 tons each year. Population growth in urban areas and corresponding increases in plastics consumption are growing at a rapid pace; fortunately, over the last years, plastic pollution has become one of the top priorities for grassroots efforts and has gained the attention of the national government, representing a significant opportunity to harness political will for national, regional, and global change. In December 2019, the Prime Minister of Vietnam signed the National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Debris Management until 2030, which sets out to significantly reduce Vietnam’s impact.