Trash in the ocean compromises the health of humans and wildlife and threatens those whose livelihoods depend on a healthy ocean. Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas (TFS) Program aims to stop the flow of trash at its source. Efforts under the TFS Program include the International Coastal Cleanup, science and monitoring of the incidence and impacts of marine debris, as well as managing the Trash Free Seas Alliance® –a partnership of industry, science, and conservation leaders to advance solutions to marine debris.
Ocean Conservancy’s Plastics Initiative works to leverage the resources and partnerships of the TFS program and the Alliance to bring industry, government, and civil society partners together to analyze, identify, and launch solutions reduce plastic inputs to the ocean by half by 2025. Over the past five years, Ocean Conservancy has supported scientific and economic analyses of the major ways plastic waste reaches the ocean. These studies have highlighted that the majority of plastic in the ocean comes from countries with rapidly developing economies and without sufficient waste management infrastructure. As a result of this work, in 2017 Ocean Conservancy worked with Closed Loop Partners to launch Closed Loop Ocean, an initiative to raise $150 million from consumer goods companies and plastics makers to invest in collection and recycling projects in Southeast Asia. Additional projects to provide technical assistance, design behavior change campaigns, and catalyze on the ground partnerships are being developed as well.