SARAH FERGUSON WILL ATTEMPT FIRST WORLD-RECORD SWIM AROUND PERIMETER OF EASTER ISLAND TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT PLASTIC POLLUTION
February 12, 2019 – MALIBU, Calif., U.S. – Plastic Oceans International and Breathe Conservation, two global nonprofit organizations dedicated to solving the plastic pollution problem, today announced Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island, a campaign to raise awareness about plastic pollution with a potential world-record swim, education and beach cleanups on Easter Island in March.
Sarah Ferguson, a former national swimmer for South Africa and founder of Breathe Conservation, will attempt to set a world record to become the first person ever to swim the entire perimeter of Easter Island. Her journey will cover more than 40 miles (65 kilometers) through cold water and dangerous currents, and the swim is estimated to take up to 24 hours to complete.
“This is a huge challenge, but my passion for ocean protection and rehabilitation is a strong driving force that fuels this dream,” said Sarah Ferguson, founder of Breathe Conservation. “It is our responsibility to protect the ocean, and I’m proud to partner with Plastic Oceans International on this campaign to fight the problem of plastic pollution.”
Located in the South Pacific Ocean between Chile and New Zealand, Easter Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Chilean territory that is considered the most remote inhabited island on the planet. The waters surrounding the island contain one of the highest concentrations of microplastics in the world, most of which originates from sources thousands of miles away. In addition, 20 tons of trash is produced daily on the island, so waste management issues, especially related to the growing tourism industry, are prevalent.
Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island includes a series of beach cleanups to help restore Easter Island’s fragile environment. Plastic Oceans and Breathe Conservation are organizing the events with the island’s local communities and nonprofit organizations, encouraging all residents to participate.
“The planet needs leaders to draw attention to the serious global plastic pollution problem worldwide—threatening the ocean, our food sources and the environment—to understand the dangers of and change how we think about and use plastic,” said Julie Andersen, Global Executive Director, Plastic Oceans International. “By showing the world that our most valued and remote locations are not immune to plastic pollution, our goal is to inspire people to find solutions and eliminate use of single-use plastics that attribute to the problem.”
Plastic Oceans and local residents will conduct a series of programs to determine the specific causes contributing to plastic pollution on Easter Island. Once the roots of pollution are targeted, they will work jointly to find solutions. Results and ways to prevent plastic pollution will be shared throughout local communities, with students and schools, charitable organizations, government officials and businesses.
Anyone can join Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island to get informed, inspired and make changes to solve plastic pollution. Follow the progress of Sarah Ferguson’s world record-breaking swim using #SwimAgainstPlastic. Campaign information is available online at SwimAgainstPlastic.com.
About Plastic Oceans International
Plastic Oceans International is a nonprofit organization serving the ocean and public to end plastic pollution. Its goal is to change the world’s attitude toward plastic, affecting consumer behavior, corporate and public policy. Plastic Oceans informs, inspires and incites action on plastic pollution to shift the global reliance on plastic. It uses inspirational solutions-focused film, media and awareness initiatives, paired with supportive activism, promoting a global movement to rethink plastic. At least eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year—the equivalent of dumping one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean per minute. While more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually, more than 90% of all plastic is not recycled. Learn more at plasticoceans.org, on Facebook @PlasticOceans, Instagram @plasticoceans, Twitter @PlasticOceansUS and YouTube Plastic Oceans International.