Ocean Recovery Alliance

    Is Plastic Pollution Akin to the Broken Windows Theory?  

    By Doug Woodring

    - Published on April 30, 2015 by The Economist Intelligence Unit

     A new version of this article is available here (The Terramar Project) >> A report last year commissioned by the UN estimated the annual impact to the ocean from plastic pollution was US$13bn.  This is not going to improve in a hurry. The World Bank expects the planet’s municipal solid waste to nearly double within 15 years, much of which will be in the form of single-use plastic items.  Population growth and rising consumption are drivers of this. Yet not many countries in the world are well-prepared for this increase in waste, as stresses on land and water quality mean that our old ways o…

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    Ocean Recovery Alliance


    4th Annual Plasticity Forum - Cascais, Portugal, June 8th and 9th 

    View the presentations here

    This year was the first European Plasticity Forum, held in Portugal.   Presentations from the speakers are available now on the Plasticity website, with some of the presentations starting from the first afternoon viewable on Livestream. The morning session on the first day will be included shortly.

    Plasticity is a two day, unique business conference, as it brings together experts from many aspects of the plastic spectrum to talk about design, innovation, materials, recycling and solutions that can scale across our communities, so that there is a reduced waste footprint, and plastic is treated as the resource that it should be, even after its initial life.  The event was held at the historic Pousada de Cascais Hotel.   Video Trailer. 

    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.  

    Support the Upgrading of Sewage Treatment in Hong Kong

    Over 10 years ago, the Hong Kong Government embarked on a program to improve the ocean in the territory by installing better sewage treatment facilities.  However, the work is not done, and now there is some discussion about not continuing with that plan, for fears of cost overruns (it will only be more expensive in the future), and because some think that the water quality is already "good enough."  In fact, only 16% of the sewage receives secondary treatment, and for a wealthy city like Hong Kong, with seasonal red tides (algal blooms) becoming a common feature, we seek your help by signing here to support the government's original plan of undertaking all of the sewage treatment works it set out to accomplish.  


    Donate to the Ocean Recovery Alliance