Purge of the Plastic Pandemonium: Individual Personalities

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Article extracted from Asian Diver Issue 02/2020 (155)

UW360 features a corroborated list of esteemed individuals that have environmentally-friendly stances that target the mitigation of plastic.

NARENDRA MODI, INDIA

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was named a United Nations Champion of the Earth in 2018. The environmental honour, which Modi shared with French President Emmanuel Macron, recognised his pledge to mitigate all single-use plastics in India by 2022. In addition, Modi has championed the International Solar Alliance, which focuses on a global pact to promote solar energy.

RICHARD BRANSON, UNITED KINGDOM

The British philanthropist and founder of the Virgin Group is an Ocean Elder, a group consisting of influential people who devote their time to ocean conservation projects. Branson set up OceanUnite, a non-profit that raises money for environmental charities as well as funds ocean research and conservation projects. One of its stated goals is protecting 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.

MORGAN FREEMAN, UNITED STATES

Academy Award winner and four-time nominee Morgan Freeman is a high-profile supporter of Oceana, a non-profit marine conservation organisation. Oceana’s fund-raising SeaChange Summer Party has twice featured Freeman as a special guest, and he also made an appearance aboard the Oceana Latitude in the Gulf of Mexico, where he conveyed his support for the group’s scientific expedition to assess the long-term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

GEORGIA MAY JAGGER, UNITED KINGDOM

A well-known supporter of ocean conservation causes, international supermodel Georgia May Jagger became the face of the swimwear sector of the clothing brand Volcom. The American fashion and beauty brand is helping to save the ocean via a number of initiatives, including producing swimwear from recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets, and collaborations with organisations like the Surfrider Foundation, World Oceans Day, and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

MICHELLE BACHELET, CHILE

As President of the Chile, Michelle Bachelet established three huge marine protected areas encompassing more than a million square kilometres. The largest is the Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area, which covers the waters around Easter Island. The second-largest region encompasses the Juan Fernández Islands, several hundred kilometres offshore of the capital Santiago, while the third surrounds the Diego Ramírez Islands, the country’s southernmost point. Bachelet was given the title of United Nations Champion of the Earth in the Policy and Leadership category.

AFROZ SHAH, INDIA

United Nations Champion of the Earth in Inspiration and Action and anti-plastic pioneer Afroz Shah made headlines when he changed the face of Versova Beach in Mumbai, making it the biggest beach cleanup in history. Starting in 2015, the lawyer spent every weekend tending to the beach that was once blanketed in one-and-a-half metres of plastic, inspiring over 200,000 volunteers to join in. By October 2018, after the removal of 20,000 tonnes of trash, the beach had been transformed, and Shah began focusing his team’s efforts on other locations in Mumbai, such as the Mithi River.

JASON MOMOA, UNITED STATES

Pioneering his brand, Mananalu, Jason and his team attempt to curb the world’s plastic water containers and inspire change by repackaging pure water in aluminum – one of the most recyclable materials in the world.

KARLIE KLOSS, UNITED STATES

As an Adidas ambassador and renowned fashion model, Karlie Kloss has often taken part in campaigns in support of plastic waste projects by non-profit Parley for the Oceans. In 2018, she promoted Adidas’ Run for the Oceans, an initiative that supported the Parley Ocean Plastic programme of tracked runs and group running events to raise ocean awareness. Over the period of a month, 924,237 runners worldwide ran 12,402,854 kilometres, leading to a USD1 million donation to Parley by Adidas.

JACK JOHNSON, UNITED STATES

Celebrity singer-songwriter Jack Johnson was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme in 2015. With his wife Kim, Johnson founded the Kokua Hawaii Foundation to support environmental education in Hawaii as well as the Johnson Ohana Foundation to support environmental, art and music education around the world. These efforts aim to support plastic-free initiatives and promote solutions to plastic marine pollution.

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