Ocean Recovery Alliance

    Plastic Waste Causes Financial Damage of US$13 Billion to Marine Ecosystems Each Year as Concern Grows over Microplastics  

    By UNEP

    - Published on June 23, 2014 by UNEP

    Nairobi, 23 June 2014 – Concern is growing over the threat that widespread plastic waste poses to marine life, with conservative estimates of the overall financial damage of plastics to marine ecosystems standing at US$13 billion each year, according to two reports released on the opening day of the first United Nations Environment Assembly.  The eleventh edition of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Year Book looks at ten issues flagged as emerging by previous reports over the past decade, including plastic waste in the ocean. The UNEP Year Book 2014 gives an update on each issu…

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    The Live Stream of the 3rdannual Plasticity Forum in NYC is still available for viewing until July 24th.  Click here to view the talks.  Individual speeches will be available shortly on the Plasticity Forum website, as well as the slides from the presentations.   

    Join us for a global webinar on our recent "Valuing Plastic" report, launched in a collaborative effort with the Plastic Disclosure Project of Ocean Recovery Alliance, Trucost, and UNEP.  This is co-hosted by Sustainable Brands, and will be held two times on July 9th so that you should be able to participate regardless of your time zone.  Click here for information on how to login and participate (free).  

    The Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP), Trucost and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the world-first report at the U.N. Environmental Assembly in Nairobi on June 23rd, with talks on the report given at both Sustainable Brands '14 in San Diego, and the Plasticity Forum in New York.  The report identifies some of the risks and opportunities to brands associated with plastic use. It articulates the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use, underlined by the new research which identifies $75 billion of annual natural capital costs of plastic use by the consumer goods sector. The research assesses the plastic use and disclosure of the 100 largest companies in the consumer goods industry. We invite you to join this webinar for a detailed breakdown of the research findings and case studies related to experiences in reporting plastic use or waste generation. 

     What You Will Learn

    • The business case for measuring, managing, and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry
    • Risks and opportunities associated with plastic use in the consumer goods sector
    • Identifying natural capital 'hotspots' to help companies better manage plastic use
    • The natural capital benefits of good plastic practices, such as the use of recycled content and end-of-life recovery
    • Recommendations to improve the sustainability of plastic use in practice


    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.  

    On Sharks - great news!  On September 15th, 2013, the Hong Kong Government announced that shark fins and bluefin tuna would not be used at government banquets and events.  This is a great start, but a huge number are still traded through Hong Kong, and this trade is not well monitored.  You can make a BIG difference by helping to keep the ecosystem functioning properly, and protecting sharks.  If you support the the call for a comprehensive sale and possession ban, please sign and share this petition.  There are already thousands of signatures, but many more are needed to show support for their protection. Please sign this petition today, and pass it on.  (Photo courtesy of Alex Hofford)

     

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