On this World Water Day, we turn to the executive director of our newest country branch, Mariana Soto. She heads up Mexico, where she is already working diligently to create A Wave of Change in Mexico City and beyond.
The Vibe Tribe and Plastic Oceans
Students from all over the world had an opportunity to discuss and seek out solutions to the environmental and humanitarian issues in our world today. 21 schools from across Asia attended the opening ceremony which was celebrated with a dinner and a private screening of the acclaimed documentary, A Plastic Ocean.
Plastic Oceans team completes mission to Santiago, Chile
What an amazing week we just had for our efforts at the Plastic Oceans Foundation – both north and south of the equator.
While our US Chairman, William Pfeiffer, was representing us in Davos, I was joined in Chile by Chief Evangelist, Craig Leeson, and our Director of Partnerships, Brigette Allen. Hosting and coordinating our journey was Mark Minneboo, Executive Director of Plastic Oceans Chile.
U.S Chairman joins panel discussion during the World Economic Forum
Each January the most powerful of the powerful gather in the quaint Swiss Alps hamlet of Davos – from heads of state and Fortune 100 CEOs, to leaders NGO representatives, and the most brilliant of thought leaders imaginable. They come together at the World Economic Forum with the mission to make the world a better place by fostering public-private cooperation.
When you arrive in Rwanda at Kigali airport you will see a large sign reading, “Use of non-biodegradable polythene bags is prohibited”. That’s right, the country as a whole has banned the use of plastic bags. After the Rwandan genocide, authorities have spent time rebuilding the country and contributing to its economic progression to what it is today. Rwanda is probably Africa’s cleanest nation, and considered one of the most pristine places in the world. It wasn’t the plastic bags themselves that authorities were concerned about, but the ways in which they were being disposed of that was creating controversy. The majority of the plastic was being burned after use that released harmful and toxic pollutants throughout the air. Aside from the burning, the plastic was often disposed improperly and would cause flooding from clogging the country’s drainage systems.
With news of China’s decision to halt recycling global plastic which will boost in the production of new plastic to the tune of $185 billion dollars to plastic lobbyists…. it can seem like a losing battle for plastic pollution conscious individuals/organizations.
However, against these overwhelming odds, a significant strategic approach is developing which abandons individual agendas in favor of a collective approach to Rethink Plastic.
Plastic Oceans Chile has signed an alliance with Duoc UC University to reduce their plastic footprint
After two months of hard work, our team in Chile signed an alliance with the Natural Resources Faculty of the DuocUC University in Valparaíso. With the alliance, Plastic Oceans Chile supports the plastic reduction efforts of the University and also the newly created student movement ‘desplastificate’ which translates to: ‘unplastify yourself.’
Little did I know that my life would change so considerably after watching A Plastic Ocean. While I’ve always been conscious about reducing, reusing, recycling and repurposing, I never considered that one could actually refuse plastics, let alone inspire others to do the same. Sure, I always say “no” to straws, plastic bags and cutlery, but that was about the extent of it. At the same time, I was getting more and more annoyed to be given plastics at every turn when purchasing food. I have since found ways of going around this, by shopping at the greenmarket and eating according to the seasons, as well as bringing my own containers to purchase bulk food items and takeout foods.