Surfrider Foundation: Rise Above Plastics

Designed to eliminate the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.

The Problem

It's in our homes, our offices, our vehicles, our yards, our playgrounds. We use it to package food, bottle products, bag produce, make dinnerware and utensils, make toys....

Plastics have undoubtedly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily, for less money, and in some cases more safely than ever before.

But, plastics pose a significant threat to our planet as well.

Part of the problem is plastic itself. The very qualities that make it an adaptable and durable product to use, also make plastic an environmental nightmare. You see, plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they photodegrade - breaking down under exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, into smaller and smaller pieces.

Bottom line: with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.

The Solution

  • Secure commitment of at least 20 new restaurants in California to go strawless and/or adhere to Ocean Friendly Restaurant principles for reducing marine plastic pollution.
  • Hold community advocacy trainings in inland and coastal areas. This strategy includes engaging with inland communities and those normally left out of typical coastal policy initiatives.
  • Produce materials for Chapters to activate on this issue, including Fact Sheets, Pledge Forms, Buckslips/Counter cards, and other assets.
  • Support 3-5 cities as they advance local bag reduction policies, such as foam or straw reduction policies.
  • We have started the process of creating a more standardized system for beach cleanup data including collaborating with outside organizations to improve the data card so that it can be merged into larger datasets and used for policies on plastic pollution. We intend to release this new data standard to chapters in the fall of 2018.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Surfrider Foundation

This project was nominated by: