A GivingTuesday Message from Plastic Oceans International’s CEO, Julie Andersen

As GivingTuesday is about to arrive, I am reminded that we have nearly made it through quite the year – 2020. To say it has been challenging is an understatement for most.

For us at Plastic Oceans, we have had to stop hundreds of our in-person activities – school events, corporate workshops, coastal cleanups, film screenings – that we depend on for a large percentage of our annual budget. We also count on donations from individual donors, which have decreased due to the financial concerns many now face with COVID-19.

Nevertheless, it never ceases to amaze me the power of human kindness, innovation and adaptability to turn life’s lemons into lemonade.

I am so grateful for my incredible Plastic Oceans team that has only been driven even more to find opportunities during this challenging time to ensure our mission is achieved. We have persistently worked to develop inspiring informative film content; to continue bringing clean water and reusable bottles to schools in need with our Rethink.Refill program; delivered education workshops via webinars and published a beautiful book of lifestyle tips on reducing our individual plastic use.

This year the world is seeing a rise in plastic waste and subsequent plastic pollution from increased masks, gloves, packaging, food take away and online shipping. Since the start of 2020, there has been a 6% increase in plastic packaging and 500% increase in medical waste (and climbing). We know that the current recycling system is not a viable option for these single-use plastics.

Now more than ever – for the good of our health, our families and friends and our planet – we need to change our relationship with single-use  plastic.

Despite our funding being down 25% than projected, we have adapted to the circumstances to deliver on our promises and have prepared new initiatives to generate three times the impact in 2021.

There is no doubt that education/awareness is key to the change needed to end plastic pollution but we need to implement solutions with measurable change. There is no one solution but rather solutions adapted to a community’s socioeconomic and environmental conditions.  Therefore, we have developed a collaborative global network called BlueCommunities which we are excited to launch next week. We have integrated our awareness programs in a way to generate measurable change. This program operates with the belief that “we can and must act locally in order to accelerate change globally.”

We cannot do this alone and we need your help.

Please give for this GivingTuesday, which also serves as the official kickoff of our year-end fundraising campaign. We have matching funds up to $50,000 for all donations raised through December 31, so giving now means doubling your donation. 

All the best,

Julie Andersen
Plastic Oceans International

P.S. We have some great gifts to offer as our way of saying thank you for your giving. Click below to have a look.