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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ocean Recovery Alliance Makes A Big Impact In 2015

Courtesy of Doug Woodring of Ocean Recovery Alliance, Hong Kong.

The ocean was happy last year, as more and more of our communities are realizing we need to provide it some help and breathing room. We are pleased to be part of that by helping to save approximately 75,000,000 plastic bottles from being produced from virgin material.

Instead, they created a new demand for recycled content, as Watsons Water in Hong Kong became one of the first bottlers in Asia to move to 100% recycled PET for their bottles with our assistance.

Our Ocean Appreciation Month in April and saw the introduction of the world’s first coffee lid bring-back program with Pacific Coffee in Hong Kong, allowing customers to bring back their coffee lids for recycling, in return for a small reward. This program is now being planned for expansion. In just one month and six stores, over 6,000 lids were recovered for proper recycling.

All of our work is possible thanks to donations and sponsorship support, and make a BIG impact in allowing us to continue what we do - expanding our reach into new communities and stakeholder groups. All donations are tax deductible in the United States and Hong Kong, and we appreciate you for your continued support.

Those of you who know some activities know that we bring creativity, collaboration and new models for success to help drive impacts, awareness, opportunities, and solutions that can scale. We would be happy to work with your company in the coming year, and to be more engaged in some of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Portugal marked the location of a number of new events for the country, organized by Ocean Recovery Alliance, which ran the 4th annual Plasticity Forum, ran the country’s first Ocean Film Festival, and help spread the ocean appreciation message to youth and athletes via the large Swim Challenge Cascais open water swim. It also participated in the Economist’s World Ocean Summit.

These events helped to inspired the IUCN’s new focus and program on plastic pollution reduction, which kicked off with their first meeting in Monaco in November which we were active in.

Conference participation is important in helping to spread the word to key stakeholders and audiences on projects that we are initiating, while disseminating knowledge about the latest trends in thinking, technology and science which are active in helping improve the health of the ocean. We were proud to be speaking and active in the Prince of Wales ISU event on the ocean, the APEC Conference on Building Better Cities, the National Plastics Exposition, the PEMSEA regional forum and keynote to their Youth Forum, the regional PET Asia Forum in Thailand, and the Paris COP 21 Climate Conference. It was exciting to also be one of the 46 NGO’s in both China and Taiwan who signed on to the first ever Cross-Straits Memorandum on plastic pollution, giving a focus of engagement for all groups in the region.

Join us for the 5th Annual Plasticity Forum in Shanghai, China on April 27th-28th 2016.

We are very excited to be bringing our 5th annual Plasticity Forum to Shanghai this year during the same week of the large ChinaPlas tradeshow. This complements the new inclusion of the Chinese Petroleum and Chemical Industry into the World Plastic Council, joining the global pledge to help reduce plastic going to the ocean. Plasticity is all about the future of plastic, and where the leaders are going with design, innovation, recycled content, materials and solutions, so that we have a world where plastic can be used, but with no environmental footprint. Please let us know if your company would like to sponsor this unique event. You can also follow us on our FB Page - Plasticity Forum or contact us at: hello@plasticityforum.com.

Life Reef Fish, and sustainable fish, were also a topic that we worked on during the year. With a consortium of experts, we released a study on the Live Reef Fish trade in Hong Kong, and how the transportation industry players could become more transparent and effective supplying sustainable seafood. This also coincided with our new month-long Kin Hong Seafood Festival in Hong Kong, which had over 45 restaurants participating to serve at least one MSC or ASC certified dish on their menus for the month. Rationale for the need to move more quickly to sustainable sourcing of seafood as the norm was confirmed via a new report on the state of the fish stocks in the South China Sea, as published by the University of British Colombia.

We also launched a report at Plasticity with the ACC, which is the most comprehensive study yet undertaken of the world’s up-and-coming plastic-to-fuel technologies, complete with a financial modeling calculator so that municipal leaders and other stakeholders can estimate what type of system might fit the best in their environment.

You can now join us to help reduce trash in our waters, by using our new Global Alert Platform which allows individuals around the world to report trash hotspots in our watersheds and coastlines. This is one of our Clinton Global Initiative projects, and was partly funded by the World Bank. The platform is both web and App based, and is already in Spanish, allowing stakeholders in any community to know have better management capacity to slow the flow of trash in our waters.

This is now the most powerful tool in the world for enabling and empowering better water/waste management practices, and simply requires people to start using the platform for data collection, prevention and removal of litter from our waters.

As part of our Ocean Appreciation Month in April, we also hosted the 3rd annual Kids Ocean Day Hong Kong event, this time creating a giant reef fish [shown above] as drawn originally by one the 850 children who helped to create the image which was seen around the world, and was selected as one of the top 35 images globally for that week. The word in Chinese means “refrain”, complementing the question asked by the students, and the fish, “Where’s My Reef?”

Special thanks to sponsors Credit Suisse, State Street, Ovolo Hotels, Sinclair Communications, The Repulse Bay and HeliServices and Alex Hofford for the images.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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