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Marine Life & Conservation

Coca-Cola and The Ocean Cleanup join forces in Vietnam to tackle plastic pollution

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Coca-Cola Vietnam and The Ocean Cleanup today announced that the Can Tho river in Can Tho City has been selected as one of 15 river locations around the world as part of a global partnership between the two organizations to use advanced technology to help stem the tide of plastic pollution entering oceans, by first intercepting and cleaning up waste in rivers.

In 2021, The Coca-Cola Company became a global implementation partner for The Ocean Cleanup’s river project. The partnership brings the beverage company and the technological non-profit organization together in an exciting partnership to help clean up some of the world’s major rivers.

In addition to supporting the deployment of cleanup systems, the partnership also aims to engage and bring together industry and members of the public to help tackle plastic pollution. Using solar-powered technology, The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor™ river cleanup solution is a robot that extracts marine debris. The original Interceptor™ was unveiled in 2019 and is the first scalable solution to prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans from rivers.

After years of planning, the Interceptor™ known as 003 or René, was launched into the Can Tho river for detailed testing last month. It is expected to become fully operational over the next few months, and is capable of extracting up to 50,000 kg of trash per day.

The river cleanup project deployment in Vietnam was made possible by the implementation support from the People’s Committee of Can Tho and the Can Tho Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DoNRE). Alongside the river cleanup, the partnership is also working with DoNRE and local operators to conduct river waste research to scale up the project where appropriate.

“We expect that this river cleanup project will make an important contribution to help the city improve the capacity and efficiency in waste collection, segregation and treatment; at the same time, prevent and thoroughly collect waste, especially plastic waste floating on some major river routes in the Can Tho city,” said Mr. Nguyễn Chí Kiên, Vice Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Can Tho city. “At the same time, this project will greatly contribute to Can Tho City’s goal towards an ecological and modern city, imbued with the identity of rivers and the Mekong Delta, visioning by 2030. To get there, we are looking forward to joining hands of non-profit organizations, private sectors and Can Tho citizens in such environmental protection projects, maintaining our position as an “ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City” – one of the most remarkable titles that was honorably given to Can Tho City.”

As part of the global implementation partnership, Coca-Cola in Vietnam will support the development of waste management solutions for collected debris and provide local support to The Ocean Cleanup such as engagement with local stakeholders.

“The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to rid the oceans of plastic,” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO, The Ocean Cleanup. “I am happy to see progress and our first steps together with Coca-Cola on the road to tackling the complex plastic pollution problem in the vast Mekong Delta and its sensitive ecosystems. This is good news for the oceans.”

As part of its World Without Waste vision, The Coca-Cola Company is working to ensure that all of the material it uses in its packaging is collected and recycled, so that none of it ends up as waste. The Company has a global goal to help collect and recycle every bottle and can they sell by 2030.

In Vietnam, Coca-Cola is helping to support and drive locally relevant collection and recycling solutions. Coca-Cola Vietnam was one of the founding members of Packaging Recovery Organisation (PRO) Vietnam, a partnership with other leading companies, recyclers and government agencies to accelerate local packaging collection and recycling in support of a clean and green Vietnam.

“Right now, our packaging is among the waste that can be found in the ocean. This is unacceptable to us. We want to support partners and technologies that help to clean up our oceans and rivers, especially the Mekong river system – one of the critical river systems in ASEAN that flows to oceans. Through innovation and partnership, we’re also working to create circular solutions for the collection and recycling of our bottles in Vietnam. That’s why we’re very excited about this new partnership with The Ocean Cleanup in Vietnam, starting in our beautiful Can Tho river, and we’re looking forward to making a lasting impact through this work,” said Leonardo Garcia, General Manager, Coca-Cola Vietnam and Cambodia.

For more information about The Ocean Cleanup visit their website by clicking here.

Marine Life & Conservation

Statement from Captain Paul Watson on his resignation from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA)

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It is with great relief that as of July 27th, 2022, I have ceased my employment and cut all ties with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA).

Since 1977, when I founded Sea Shepherd nearly a half century ago, I have dedicated my entire life to the aggressive and determined preservation and protection of biodiversity of marine life and our ocean.

Over the last few years, I have been slowly marginalized from the organization that I created in the USA. I was removed from the Board of Directors, my advice ignored, my close associates terminated and directors that supported me were removed. I was reduced to being a paid figurehead, denied the freedom to organize campaigns and the freedom to express the strong opinions that I have held for decades, opinions and campaigns that have shaped what Sea Shepherd has become and continues to be outside the borders of the United States.

As I said in the documentary movie Watson, my role is to rock the boat, to make waves, to provoke people to think about the damage we are collectively inflicting upon diversity and interdependence of life in the ocean.

The current Board seeks to turn our vessels away from confronting illegal poachers that prey on endangered species and instead seeks to turn our fleet into non-controversial research vessels. Research has always been a part of Sea Shepherd efforts, but it has not and should not be our priority. What we have provided is a unique function: a fearless leadership to intervene against poachers on the high seas, to document and to stop illegal acts that would otherwise go unnoticed and unchallenged. Sea Shepherd has always, and must always go where others fear to go, to say the things that must be said and to tackle the obstacles fearlessly and with great resolve.

The new direction that the present Board of Sea Shepherd USA has decided upon is not a path that I can in good conscience support nor participate in. I have not changed my objectives or resolve, and I refuse to change and adopt an approach that diminishes the incredible movement that we have created over the last four and a half decades, a movement that continues to grow outside the borders of the United States.

I remain a director of Sea Shepherd Global, and I remain a supporter of Global ships, officers, and crew. Together with all other national Sea Shepherd entities, with the exception of the USA, I will continue to support our campaigns around the world utilizing our unique philosophy of aggressive non-violence and cooperation with governments and NGOs.

We are Sea Shepherd. We are direct action motivated by imagination, persistence, and courage.

My future lies with the people from around the world who have made and continue to make Sea Shepherd the most influential, passionate, and effective marine conservation movement on this planet.

Captain Paul Watson

Founder – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Canada (1977)

Founder – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA (1981)

 

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Marine Life & Conservation

Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean is back

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The Marine Conservation Society’s annual Great British Beach Clean is back, running from 16th – 25th September 2022.

The charity is calling for volunteers across the UK to join them at the coast for a week of beach cleaning and litter surveying.

The Great British Beach Clean, sponsored by Ireland’s number one soup brand, Cully & Sully, is more than just a clean up. Every year volunteers make note of the litter they collect, sharing the data with the Marine Conservation Society’s experts. The charity has used data collected to campaign for carrier bag charges, single-use plastic bans and deposit return schemes.

Last year, volunteers collected over 5 tonnes of litter, with an average of 3.85 items found for every metre of beach surveyed across the UK.

Clare Trotman, Beachwatch Officer at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “We wouldn’t be able to do the work we do at the Marine Conservation Society without the support of our volunteers heading out to the coast to collect vital information on what’s polluting our seas.

“With beach cleans happening across the UK, from remote beaches to busy seaside resorts, there’s so many ways to get involved and support us this year. If you can’t make it to the beach, you can still take part by doing a local litter pick and survey where you live.”

At last year’s Great British Beach Clean, 75% of all litter collected was made from plastic and polystyrene.

From production to disposal, plastic has a direct impact on the ocean’s capacity to combat the climate crisis. Manufacturing plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Most plastic is produced using fossil fuels, meaning more plastic production results in increased carbon emissions. Plastic is also entering the food chain, from tiny phytoplankton to ocean giants, like whales.

Dr Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “Pollution, whether it’s big, small or even invisible, is having a hugely negative impact on our ocean and all those who rely on it – including us. Tiny microplastics are being eaten by plankton at the very foundation of ocean ecosystems, animals big and small are being tangled in plastic packaging, turtles are mistaking it for food, and chemical pollution is changing the ocean’s chemistry.

“All of this is an alarming picture of the state of our seas, but each and every volunteer who joins the Great British Beach Clean helps us research the scale of pollution in the UK. This research is vital to stop pollution at source, and we know it works. Cleaner beaches will support a healthy ocean, and a healthy planet.”

Cullen Allen (Aka Cully) from Cully & Sully said: “We’re delighted to be part of the Great British Beach Clean 2022. We’ve supported beach cleans in Ireland for the past 4 years and are excited about extending our commitments to the Great British Beach Clean. We’re excited to take part and get started, and of course spread the word on the importance of keeping our beaches and public spaces clean”.

Join the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean as an organiser, or volunteer, this year. Sign up via the charity’s website: www.mcsuk.org/greatbritishbeachclean.

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