Member Spotlight: Algalita, Blueland, Earth Law Center, O’land

Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Members come from a wide range of sectors and are aligned in their mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on communities and ecosystems around the world. The Coalition Spotlight is our monthly blog to uplift and showcase their work, giving our readers an inside look at some influential change-makers. This month, we highlight four members who are mobilizing communities through marine plastic research, revolutionizing safer household cleaning products, advancing ocean justice, and building reuse and refill infrastructure for tomorrow.

Algalita

Algalita Marine Research and Education is the organization that started the movement to end plastic pollution nearly 30 years ago. Founded by Captain Charles Moore, Algalita was the first organization to bring attention to the swirling soup of plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean — a place now known by many as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Since then, Algalita has helped to evolve the plastic pollution conversation beyond tired industry narratives around “marine litter” and “plastic waste” by building a web of solutions-oriented connections between researchers, activists, educators, and young people across the globe. Algalita holds the belief that environmental educators are our greatest allies in this movement, as they are uniquely situated to inspire and equip the next generations to take action to address the growing issues facing our climate and global community today. This is why Algalita created the Wayfinder Society for Environmental Education — a program offering a diverse ecosystem of support for educators globally including unrestricted mini-grants, standards-aligned lesson plans, professional development events, classroom toolkits, and so much more. Here’s a quick video to learn more. Resources all connect to plastics but are interdisciplinary and touch on various interconnected environmental issues, including climate change, environmental justice, composting, and more. If you are an educator, sign up for their monthly newsletter for educators to get plugged into their free resources. 

In addition, Algalita’s presence in their local community of Long Beach, California, continues to grow. Recognizing that reuse is an important part of the plastics conversation, In 2017, they partnered with Julie Darrel, founder of BYO Long Beach, to open the first reuse storefront in all of Los Angeles County — and it’s connected to Algalita’s office! Now, BYO Long Beach has another storefront in the East Art’s District in Downtown Long Beach and also has an online store as well.

Want to stay up-to-date on Algalita’s work? Sign up for their newsletter here.

Blueland

Blueland is reimagining everyday home essentials to eliminate single-use plastic and provide consumers with safe and sustainable cleaning options that are convenient, effective and affordable. From hand and dishwasher soap, to mirror and multi-surface cleaners, Blueland is eradicating plastic from household cleaning with its nontoxic tablets and powders. Simply mix the cleaning tablet you desire with water in your reusable spray bottle and enjoy hassle-free cleaning that prevents single-use plastic pollution from cleaning products. The tablets ship straight to your home, saving you a shopping trip and the planet from emissions, as the tablets are significantly lighter to ship! And of course, the products are all in plastic-free packaging.  

To date, Blueland’s innovative products have helped divert just under 2 billion single-use plastic bottles from landfills and oceans, avoided over 10 million square feet of plastic packaging, and prevented 2.5+ million pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions from heating the planet. In addition to those metrics, Blueland meets a number of impressive standards to demonstrate their commitment to safe ingredients, efficient water and energy use, carbon-neutral shipping, and employee satisfaction. Some of these include: Cradle to Cradle, EWG Verified, EPA Safer Choice, Climate Neutral Certified, B-Corp, and more. 

Blueland has been advocating for the Pods are Plastic Bill, recently introduced in New York City, that would ban any laundry or dishwasher detergent pods and sheets that contain Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA). Because PVA does not disappear and pollutes our waterways after use, this bill would send an important signal to businesses and individuals that plastic products should not be designed to go down our drains, into our water, the environment, and our bodies. You can learn more about the Pods are Plastic Bill at podspollute.com and send a message of support to your representative. In addition to this bill, Blueland has also been lobbying for the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act (PRRIA), which would require companies to pay for and manage plastic waste in which they produce, while prohibiting certain toxic chemicals in packaging.

Earth Law Center

Earth Law Center (ELC) is a non-profit organization working to advance ecocentric laws, policies, and governance for the well-being of the Earth Community, addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and degradation of ecosystems to restore a flourishing Earth Community on behalf of present and future generations of all species. The Ocean Program of Earth Law Center is diligently committed to engaging in and advancing plastic pollution mitigation and legislative initiatives. Emphasizing the concept of ocean justice—protecting the ocean, fulfilling human rights, and progressing social equity—ELC aims to amplify justice issues linked to the full “life cycle” of plastics alongside the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations, with forthcoming advocacy to engage and empower youth in partnership with EarthEcho International.

ELC recently published a report, “Advancing Ocean Justice in the Global Plastics Treaty,” which argues why a justice-centered approach to the UN Plastics Treaty that encompasses the whole life cycle of plastic is imperative to safeguard human and ocean health long term. The youth-led report provides textual recommendations for the treaty, offering a roadmap for embedding justice throughout its articles, including Emissions and Releases of Plastics, Microplastics, and a Just Transition. In addition to their new report and work on the UN Plastics Treaty, ELC offers a number of ways communities can learn and take action to combat plastic pollution, including this comprehensive toolkit to guide local policy.  

ELC actively participates in global initiatives as a member of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the UN Harmony with Nature Initiative, the High Seas Alliance, and as a partner of Mission Blue. They will feature at three events at next month’s EarthX Conference, hosted in Dallas, Texas, around Earth Day (April 22-26), reputed to be the world’s largest green gathering, welcoming nearly 200,000 visitors in prior years. 

Feel free to read and share their new report, contact them to collaborate or share ideas, sign up for their newsletter, and sign our petition to urge the U.S. government to take a stronger stance in the upcoming treaty negotiations.

O’Land

O’land is a company operated out of Montreal, Quebec, on a mission to build a world without single-use plastic pollution by providing reusable infrastructure, starting with water stations, that deliver basic human needs while protecting our health and the environment. Their water refill and hand sanitizing stations offer high-quality water dispensing infrastructures, eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottles. 

Water refill stations are a key component of the transition towards a reuse economy, as they provide a healthy alternative to single-use plastic bottles that pollute the planet. O’land stations are helping to chart that course by making water refill and reuse easy. Installed at corporate events, large music festivals, and a multitude of other venues, their stations are 360 degrees, contactless, and fast, which help prevent lines and create a seamless refill experience for large crowds. 

With every refill, one single-use plastic bottle is avoided and won’t pollute our planet. In September 2023, the company reached one million bottles avoided after four years of operations, and helped avoid 100,000 tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gasses. This year, they have expanded operations from Canada to the United States to increase their impact and help build a refill and reuse economy, one station at a time. 

Interested in renting or purchasing a station for your next event? Find out more here, and even enjoy custom branding.

Does your business or organization align with our mission to build a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts? Apply to join our global movement.

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