On 11th January 2017, Barbados launched the inaugural Barbados Independent Film Festival where the screening of A Plastic Ocean was featured. Many other films were screened during this unique festival throughout the following week.

The Closing Ceremony was held on Dover Beach during sunset as the large audience enjoyed the feel of the sand on their bare feet . A Plastic Ocean was honored to win the Best Ocean Impact Film Award. Craig Leeson, the film’s director, and Matt Reid, board member of Plastic Oceans Foundation, were present to receive the prestigious award.

A Plastic Ocean won not only an award, the film also activated the local community. Barbados is an island with 60 miles (97 km) of coastline. Barbadians are deeply connected to the ocean and are helping to proactively take the lead to reverse plastic pollution affecting our oceans and their creatures. Following the screening of A Plastic Ocean, Barbadians walked away encouraged and motivated to change the global plastic pollution problem.

In the month following the screening, a special ad hoc group of individuals from several industries (corporations, government, tourism, schools) joined Plastic Oceans Foundation to work together to raise awareness to stop plastic pollution. The team will use the educational tools provided by Plastic Oceans Foundation to educate individuals within each their industries and have developed special initiatives to reduce the use of plastic and improve the recycling infrastructure to handle existing plastic.

Barbados is an example of how our film has been an agent for change around the world. From knowing comes caring, and these new initiatives demonstrate that Barbados does indeed care.

Plastic Oceans Foundation (POF) will continue to work with Barbados to demonstrate the global impact the impact that the film can have on a country. POF is raising funds to capture these success stories on film so that others may follow their example.