Ocean Recovery Alliance

    One of the Biggest Challenges of our Time  

    By Guest Blog

    - Published on June 14, 2016 by Virgin Unite

              The estimated amount of waste that reaches the ocean each year is over eight million tons – the equivalent of five shopping bags of waste on each foot of our collective 217,000 mile global ocean coastline. A large proportion of this waste is plastic and it’s been suggested that there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050 – or even earlier if we don’t slow down current rates of illegal and overfishing.  Plastic is an integral part of so many of today’s products and services, much being used for single-use items and packaging. This, coupled with the global lack of inf…

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    Ocean Recovery Alliance

    You can help support the Ocean by clicking here, as our innovative, creative and scalable programs are made possible because of your vision and engagement to help us expand our work.   Some of our recent work is listed below, but also, don't forget that if you want to report trash hotspots, anywhere in the world's waterways or coastlines, use our Global Alert platform (or app) to take up to three photos of big sections of trash, so that stakeholders in that community can use your data to better manage and prevent litter from polluting our waters.  

    Plasticty London - “Designing for the Future – Plastic and the Circular Economy”,  Venue: RSA House – “The Great Room”

    Design is one of the critical elements in creating materials, products and processes for the circular economy, but too often, the design community is not at the table in discussions that relate to the sustainability and recovery of plastic.  Learn how you can get ahead on the topic of plastic waste reduction, whether you are a designer, brand, marketer, policy maker, entrepreneur or investor on September 21st - More information and registration, click here

    GRATE ART - Art for Awareness

    Reminding people not to dump into storm drains, as everything flows downstream, and downstream is the ocean.  We are excited to have launched the Grate Art project with eight local and Chinese artists in Hong Kong in the Southern District and on the campus of Baptist University.  We hope that your city might like to follow suit, and be part of a sister-city network for Grate Art!


    "Material Solutions for Undervalued Resources"

    The 5th Annual Plasticity Forum took place in Shanghai on April 27th and 28th, with great success, and the first discussion of its type on plastic sustainability in China.  Our press release was picked up by publications with a reach of over 385 million readers, so we believe that this was a very positive launch of a bid discussion on plastic sustainability, and where the leaders are going with design, innovation, materials, recycling, and a world for a reduced waste footprint.  This event was held during the same week as CHINAPLAS 2016, and included a tour to the world's 2nd biggest plastic trade show.  The Plasticity Forum also included a 1\/2-day workshop called "Go Circular - Envisioning Products and Packaging in a Circular Economy" that was held in conjunction with our partners, Successful DesignCBi China Bridge, and Green Initiatives.   

    We are pleased to also announce a new report which our parnters Trucost undertook, and one of the world's first Net Benefit Analysis on sustainble plastic solutions, with Dell and Algix.  If their new materials, use of recycled content and reduced packaging were to be replicated across their industries, the benefit to the global environment and our communities would be valued at over US$3.5bn annually.  You can read the press release here, and download the Report Here. 

    A short summary video of our 2016 event in Shanghai can be seen below:

    View the Plasticity presentations here

    Release of new Plastic to Fuel Report - Global Update on the Emerging Industry

    Download the full report here (PDF)

    Download the PTF Cost Model here (xls)

    A new report on the trends in the plastic-to-fuel industry was released at the Plasticity Forum by the ACC and Ocean Recovery Alliance as a discussion tool for a variety of local and international stakeholders including: municipal and national governments, corporations, community leaders, business associations, NGOs, project developers, and others interested in the management of end-of-life plastic waste.  It aims to highlight the opportunities available for creating value from plastics, in concert with the regulatory, technical and logistical barriers that need to be overcome on the path towards the widespread commercial adoption of plastics-to-fuel (PTF) technology. The report can aid stakeholders by facilitating knowledge-sharing and regulatory convergence to expedite project deployment.  Not intended as a replacement to traditional recycling practices, but given the large percentage of plastic waste that bypass recycling programs for reasons such as lack of infrastructure, capacity, and technology, PTF is becoming a viable addition to a jurisdictions mix of municipal solid waste management (MSW) management strategies.

    Kin Hong Seafood Festival - Hong Kong

    The Kin Hong Seafood Festival was a big success, building public knowledge of sustainable seafood, why we should care about what we are eating, and where that comes from.  "Kin Hong" means healthy in Chinese, and represents both the healthy quality of the seafood, as well as the sustainable (healthy) manner in which it was caught or raised. The event involved over 45 restaurants, catering companies, consumers, and suppliers in creative events that will provide education about seafood sustainability.  It provided an opportunity for the public to experience sustainable products first hand.  In working with the F&B industry, the aim is to facilitate restaurateurs in gaining access to sustainable seafood and to increase availability and visibility in the market place, with some restaurants pledging to continue, and increase, their servings of sustainable seafood!  Click here for more information. 


    Ocean Recovery Alliance Helps Watson Water to Move to 100% Recycled PET Bottles

    We are please to have been parrt of the decision and thought process for Watsons Water to move to 100% recycled material (rPET) for its bottles in Hong Kong.  They are one of the first bottlers in Asia to move to 100% rPET, and their leadership has helped to avoide the production of between 50m and 100 million virgin bottles a year, as its demand for rPET diverts this much valuable material from the waste stream.  Can others follow suit? 

    Ocean Recovery Alliance Introduction

    The focus of Ocean Recovery Alliance is to bring together new ways of thinking, technologies, creativity and collaborations in order to introduce innovative projects and initiatives that will help improve our ocean environment.  This includes creating business opportunities for local communities when applicable, in order to address some of the pressing issues that our ocean faces today.

    The World Bank estimates that the production of municipal solid waste could double by 2025.  Even if this is only partially correct, the environmental impacts could be significant, as most of the countries where populations and consumption are growing, do not have nearly enough capacity to handle this flow of trash - even today.  This lack of capacity to handle our waste generation is what impacts our waters, health, city operations, tourism, and eventually the ocean.  However, if waste were viewed as a resource, we would be able to create tens of thousands of new jobs, create new revenue streams, and alleviate much of the environmental impact that waste has on our communities today.

    Ocean Recovery Alliance has two projects which were announced at the Clinton Global Initiative, focused on reducing the global impact on plastic pollution.  These are unique, because they cut across boundaries and can be used by everyone, without the need for legislative changes, bans or taxes.  We hope that you will be able to use these within your respective communities, as they are tools which can help us all focus on plastic in a new way, leading to efficiencies in use, better recycling and waste management, job creation, and a lower environmental impact within our communities.  Ocean Recovery Alliance is now working with both the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank's Global Partnership for Oceans on the Plastic Disclosure Project for research and programs for cities and their waste analysis.  The first project was in Colombia with the Ministry of Environment, and a three-city study along the Magdalena River Basin, which leads into the Caribbean.  This report, and the report on the Natural Capital Cost of Plastic in the Consumer Goods industry (joint program with UNEP and Trucost), will be released in the summer of 2014. 

    The group is a registered charitable organization in Hong Kong, and is a 501c3 non-profit organization in California. Ocean Recovery Alliance strives to take a lead with a variety of existing stakeholders, leveraging each of their qualities and institutional capacities when needed, while combining forces with the business and technology sectors in ways that have not been done before.  

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    Other Projects of Ocean Recovery Alliance

    The Grate Art project is about street art bringing a message to the community about not dumping in our city street-drains, because those actions impact our waters.   Eight commissioned artists will create ceramic plates to be located on street drains in Hong Kong - a city whose main geographic asset is the ocean.  The project will help to develop local art/design, while also adding some interesting color to our streets, with an important, yet subtle message, of protecting our ocean.  Please visit our Grate Art page to see how you can support this great program.  

    Download our Global Alert map by using our QR Code below!


    Donate to the Ocean Recovery Alliance