Parley and the Surfrider Foundation team up to rally beach defenders, collect ocean plastic, and drive solutions upstream
In June 2016, we launched a new partnership with the Surfrider Foundation on the 12th International Surfing Day (ISD), an annual event to raise awareness, engage communities, and drive the protection and preservation of our oceans for future generations. As part of the collaboration, a Parley shipping container was stationed on the beach in Santa Monica to be filled with plastic debris during a series of cleanups and awareness initiatives. Once full, the ocean plastic contents of the container will be diverted from landfill and distributed to Parley partners for upcycling initiatives in support of a closed-loop economy under the Parley A.I.R. Strategy.
The collaboration and container-filling progress continued in September on International Coastal Cleanup Day, which annually brings together coastal defenders participating in beach cleanups nationwide and around the world. In 2015, more than a half million volunteers came together on this one-day event to pick up more than 16 million pounds of trash over 12,000 miles of coastlines. This year, in addition to nationwide Surfrider chapter events, Parley x Surfrider united the local community in Santa Monica, CA, for a unique beach cleanup where plastics collected will be upcycled to raise awareness and replace fossil fuel-based materials with eco-innovative materials.
A plastic smog now pervades every underwater ecosystem. This global problem doesn’t begin in the ocean; an estimated 80 percent of marine debris is from land-based sources. Taking part in a beach cleanup is a powerful way to address immediate threats, engage local communities, and bring greater awareness to the global threat of ocean plastic pollution.
Ever piece of plastic intercepted is a win, but even if 7.5 billion people turned out today to miraculously remove every plastic fragment from every coastline in the world, more pollution would arrive with the tide tomorrow. Fixing this mess for good requires eco innovation, multi-industry and multidisciplinary collaboration, and smarter decisions at all levels to target the problem at its source. Together with Surfrider Foundation and a global network of partners under the Parley A.I.R. Strategy, we're working to make sure the beach clean doesn’t end at the beach.
In conjunction with International Coastal Cleanup Day, the Surfrider Foundation also launched its nationwide “Long Live the Beach” campaign to engage the next generation of coastal defenders to ensure our coasts are protected for the future.
“It sounds impossible, but we can turn this around. In this quest, Surfrider has a unique role. Because nobody owns the beach like they do. Our partnership is more than just an alliance. It’s a battle shout, an oath to join forces as allies, as friends, as brothers and sisters.”
Cyrill Gutsch, Founder, Parley for the Oceans
Why clean the beach? By the numbers:
- Analysis of more than 10 years of volunteer beach cleanup data indicates that 60 to 80 percent of beach debris comes from land-based sources. (source)
- Debris in the marine environment means hazards for animals and humans. Plastic marine debris affects at least 267 species worldwide, including 86 percent of all sea turtle species, 44 percent of all sea bird species, and 43 percent of marine mammal species. (source)
- By 2050, research estimates that there will be more plastic in our ocean than fish. (source)
- Cigarette butts, plastic bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottle caps, and straws/stirrers are the top items collected during beach cleans around the word. (source)