Ocean Recovery Alliance

Ocean Recovery Alliance

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.

Ocean Recovery Alliance is a 501c3 registered non-profit in California, and is a registered charitable organization in Hong Kong.  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.

The group is an umbrella organization which operates and organizes a variety of sub-projects, some of which have their own operating teams, budgets and objectives.  In some cases, these projects may complement one another, and in others, they will be stand-alone.  Two of the projects within the group were announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2010, and are focused on innovative prevention programs for plastic waste reduction.  This includes the Plastic Disclosure Project, and the Global Alert platform.  The Ocean Recovery Alliance is also a founding member of the Ocean Conservancy’s “Trash Free Seas Alliance” which was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2011.

To put the issue of plastic pollution into context, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has pointed to plastic pollution in the ocean as one of their main three focal points in their 2011 UNEP Yearbook.  

We are the founder of the unique Plasticity Forum, focused on the future of plastic, and where the leaders are going with design, innovation, materials, recycling and solutions, for a world with reduced waste.  These events have been held in Rio de Janeiro (at the Rio +20 Earth Summit), Hong Kong, New York, Portugal, Shanghai and London.  We may be having two in 2017, one in the US, and one in Australia.  Previous sponsors include Dell, HP, the American Chemistry Council, World Plastic Council, Nature Works, SPE, Vanden Recycling, Global Ocean Commission, Dow, BASF, Sabic and others.  Our press release on Plasticity Shanghai, about the need for plastic sustainability, was picked up by publications that reach an audience of over 385,000,000 people.   

We are also proud to have initiated one of the first reports on Net Benefit Analysis with Trucost, on Dell Computer and Algix, to show the value fo the positive externalities created with their decisinos on the use of reycled content and new materials.  This is an important new tool and methodology for anything environmental, as it looks at the value of the positive externalities to companies and the communities they serve, instead of a life-cycle analysis on costs created from the negative externalities associated with production or operations. 

Some of the projects we have worked on with other organizations include:

  • World Bank study on 3 cities in Colombia for a waste analysis in each:  Bogota, Baranquilla and Nieva.

  • Global Alert platform and app allows people around the world to report trash hotspots in their waterways and coastlines.  This was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), and was partly funded by the World Bank's Global Partnership for Oceans.  It is currently in English and Spanish.  It is one of the most powerful tools today for community and government stakeholders in any watershed or coastal area to better manage and prevent plastic pollution from entering their waters.  Website and launch in Times Square, NY.  

  • Plastic Disclosure Project – waste footprinting, conducted by UC Berkeley, SF Int’l Airport, HK Univ of Science and Technology, Chinese Univ, Lush Cosmetics and others (Clinton Global Initiative project). See Website Here.

  • Helped Watsons Water to convert from 0% recycled content, to 100% recycled content for their water bottles (the first big company in Asia to do so), saving over 75,000,000 bottles per year from being made from virgin plastic.

  • Waste analysis for two buildings in Central, Hong Kong, for Hong Kong Land

  • Official Recycling partner for the Hong Kong Rugby 7s in 2014.  Achieved a 90% recovery rate for plastic at the HSBC event site. 

  • Created the Grate Art project – Art for Awareness to remind people not to dump in the drains in Hong Kong, as they lead to the sea.  Approval from four Gov’t departments (Highways, Lands, Drainage/Sewage and the EPD).  http://bit.ly/GrateArtInstall and web info.

  • Created the world’s first bring-back program to recycle coffee lids – Pacific Coffee in Hong Kong.

  • Helped to introduce waste management and plastic pollution to the APEC agenda for discussion/introduction of the topic when the Philippines hosted APEC

  • Advisor to the IUCN (Int’l Union for the Conservation of Nature) on their plastic program

  • Advisor to the Ellen McCarthur Foundation’s Project Mainstream on plastic packaging

  • Advisor to the Economist World Ocean Summit, and previously with the XPrize on plastic innovation

  • Ran four years of Ocean Film Festivals in Hong Kong (and the only ones in Asia)

  • Four years of Kids Ocean Day Hong Kong with 12-15 local and international primary schools each year, reaching over 4,000 children with school assembly talks and the Kids Ocean Day HK beach event with our famous aerial art image created by the children. 

  • Economist article on the Broken Windows Theory and waste in our waters. 

We have worked with many other companies, sponsors and volunteers over the past six years, and appreciate all of their help and support for our work.  

Ocean Recovery Alliance

At the UNEP/NOAA Marine Debris Conference in Hawaii in March 2011, UNEP called the issue of plastic pollution a “wicked problem,” as there are so many aspects to it that need to be in place for the problem to be solved, particularly as it is "multi-source" pollutant.  In order to address these issues in a broad manner, the Ocean Recovery Alliance's two CGI projects are enabling tools for citizens, community groups, businesses and government entities to become involved in reducing plastic waste and making its use more efficient so that we can minimize the amount that finds its way into our environment. 

‎"A nation that fails to plan intelligently for the development and protection of its precious waters will be condemned to wither because of its shortsightedness. The hard lessons of history are clear, written on the deserted sands and ruins of once proud civilizations." 

President Lyndon B. Johnson

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