New global project holds big companies accountable for trash | Video

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: Volunteers at more than 75 locations are teaming up to clean river fronts, beaches and parks to determine the unique sources of local plastic pollution.
GLOBAL MOVEMENT: Volunteers at more than 75 locations are teaming up to clean river fronts, beaches and parks to determine the unique sources of local plastic pollution.

A new global effort is aiming to hold consumer brands most responsible for plastic pollution accountable. 

This week volunteers across the world will be picking up litter at parks, rivers, beaches, streets, and other public spaces.

On the way, the volunteers will be taking careful note of which brands and products show up most often.

The data found aims to assist The Story of Stuff Project  to identify the companies whose products most often end up as litter in the environment. 

The Story of Stuff Project hopes that this new approach will end the cycle of regular waste clean-ups and begin to tackle the issue of plastic pollution at its source.

“Every year, thousands of people get together to clean up the waste that washes onto beaches around the world – but more plastic always reappears,” campaign director for The Story of Stuff Project Stiv Wilson said.  

“This year, we’re not just cleaning up trash – we’re collecting data that will illuminate the most problematic brands in the environment and help us bring accountability to the companies that bear ultimate responsibility for the plastic pollution crisis,” he said. 

To break the cycle of plastic pollution, we need to do things differently

Campaign director for The Story of Stuff Project Stiv Wilson

Global coordinator of the #breakfreefromplastic movement Von Hernandez said corporations are too often neglecting responsibility for their role in the plastic pollution crisis and putting the blame on people instead. 

“Our brand audits make it clear which companies are primarily responsible for the proliferation of throwaway plastic waste that's defiling nature and killing our oceans. These events provide undeniable evidence of this truth,” he said. 

Clean-up brand audits are taking place in local communities in Australia, Brazil, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Latvia, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Tanzania, and the United Kingdom.

Want to get involved? Here’s how you can participate:

  1. Organise a brand audit here in Katherine. Head here to register your event. Once you sign you will be sent an in depth ‘how to guide’.
  2. Conduct a brand audit by yourself or with a few friends. Spend an hour or two collecting and auditing plastic waste in your community. 

The data generated will be compiled at both the local and global level, identifying which products and companies are most responsible for plastic pollution.

Results of the global survey will be released in early October.

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