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Ocean Recovery Alliance

Plastic Pollution Solutions

Ocean Recovery Alliance is focused on entrepreneuring programs to reduce plastic pollution, both on land and water, by creating strategic solutions for governments, industry and communities which lead to long-term, hands-on business practices that engage. Our mission is achieved through purposefully designed programs to educate, build awareness and provide solutions which inspire positive societal change at the community, national and international levels.

About us

We initiate new ways of thinking, technologies, creativity and collaborations in order to introduce innovative programs and replicable opportunities which 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.  We have worked with all types of stakeholder groups on a global basis, and would be happy to work with you to empower your customers, employees or citizens.  We speak to groups of all ages and sizes, and that often kick-starts a rapid discussion about what can be done next.  Let us know if we can help. 


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

Its founder, Douglas Woodring, was awarded the coveted Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy from Prince Albert of Monaco for his work in this space. 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.  It has since written reports for the United Nations Environment (UNEP), "Valuing Plastic," and "Crafting High-Impact Voluntary Commitments to Reduce and Prevent Marine Litter," as well also the World Bank, and will publish another with UNEP in March 2019 on global plastic pollution commitments. 

To put the issue of plastic pollution into context, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) pointed to plastic pollution in the ocean as one of their main three focal points in their 2011 UNEP YearbookNow in 2022, the world has woken to this issue in a much broader fashion, making our Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) all the more valuable to help companies and governments enter into a circular economy, because if you don't measure what you have, you can't manage it, or know what to circulate.

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, London, Dallas, Los Angeles, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Fiji, Amsterdam and Bangkok.   One highlight with our Plasticity Shanghai event, was our press release highlighting the need for plastic sustainability, which 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 of positive externalities created with their decisions 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 created include:

  • Our new Commitments Accelerator for Plastic Pollution (CAPP) program, which includes the flagship national partners of Fiji, Curacao and Seychelles. This acts as a global incubator for plastic pollution programs, facilitating quicker growth, impact, scale and replicability, and had its origins as a result of our UNEP funded report which scored 580 global commitments on plastic pollution.

  • Plastic Disclosure Project  (PDP)– Currently working with UNEP's regional headquarters in Bangkok and their Sea Circular program, funded by the Swedish Government, to train 10 companies and two municipalities in both Malaysia and Thailand to undertake the PDP, with some great results.  This is one of the world's first plastic footprinting methodologies, and has been conducted by a wide variety of industries, including YTL's Pangkor Laut Resort, YTL Power, Malaysia Airports, Westport, Sukosol Hotel, MRCB, S&P Syndicate, Sappe Resources, Six Senses Hotel, Esthetics Int'l Group, Penang Island City Council, Seberang Perai City Council, Sunway Resort, University Malaya, Urusan Teknologi Wawasan, Wiang Thoeng Subdistrict Municipality, The Peninsula Group, Shangrila (specific resorts in Asia), Starboard Sports, 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.

  • The 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 available 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. Visit the website for more information and watch the launch in Times Square, NY.  

  • Creator of the Water Rising and Water Falling Festivals in villages around the Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia.  This bi-annual event happens when the waters rise and fall by 6m (18+ft) every year, bringing plastic in/out of the lake and the villages depending on the flow of water.  Now in 30 villages, with great engagement with the local communities, village chiefs, local government, monks, fishermen and youth, we continue to grow this program and increase results.

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

  • Helped Watsons Water to convert from 0%  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). For more information, see our 2016 installation 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 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 (the only such festivals in Asia).

  • Organised 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. 

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

Water Rising Festival - Cambodia

At the UNEP/NOAA Marine Pollution 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 of plastic 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

Our 2014 report for UNEP, conducted by ourselves and Trucost, is the first that has put a "natural capital" cost of plastic polluion from the consumer good sector.  Download the Valuing Plastic Report.

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