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☁️ "The Blue Standard for Preventing Ocean Pollution"

Eco-Warriors Podcast

Photo by Erik Mclean / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Barbara Lee
Guest: Cassia Patel | Program Director | Oceanic Global
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:08] “Oceanic Global […] is an ocean conservation nonprofit really focused on inspiring us all to care deeply about our ocean, and offer us solutions to take action to protect our ocean […]. So we really work at multiple levels, whether it's grassroots action, industry action, policy action, and as well as tapping into that educational awareness, falling in love with the ocean and that desire to take action as well.”

[2:46] “We're less focused on the underwater research aspect. […] We're really focused on behavior change. […] What can we do in our own lives? How can our communities step up and reform and reshape what it means to live in community? And how can we as a business, or an industry, as a sector, whether that's tourism, hospitality, music, sports, office spaces […] step up to be pioneers of change by shifting their behavior? And then this goes hand in hand with policy reform. So a lot of our work in the past was focused on tackling single use plastics. And so we've been seeing more and more bans on single use plastics, highlighting specific items or types of plastics popping up around the world. And so in conjunction with that policy, just making sure people are educated, aware, know how to respond, so that it's really impactful.”

[4:16] “Eliminating single use plastics and improving waste management infrastructure is going hand in hand. And we absolutely […] highlight reusables as best practice […] and really reducing waste of all kinds, because replacing one single use item with another may alleviate some impacts. Paper is recyclable, it's compostable in some cases, whereas plastic, it's less likely to be recovered in that way and more likely to be a long lasting pollutant and environmental and human health harm. That said, paper will still require resources. […] If we're switching our enormous plastic consumption footprint over to paper, where we already have a large consumption footprint, then we'll be putting stress and pressure on areas that are suffering deforestation, communities that are losing their land. There's a lot of human rights and public health and justices that are taking place within that industry, in addition to the environmental costs of deforestation and not only that, but the packaging, transportation processing of the wood […], including threats to human health in some of those facilities and facilities, depending on the regulation. […] And the same can apply to almost every material. Aluminum has many of the same and in fact more severe impacts on communities and the environment too. So thinking from single use to single use is not going to be the solution if we take a more holistic approach.”

[6:30] “We have a program in terms of our engagement with industry and businesses called the Blue Standard. This is a sustainability verification program, so we can recognize businesses with our blue seals. […] Hospitality, businesses, hotels, restaurants, […] events, […] the music industry, […] the sports industry […] would all funnel under the business operations lens. […] Those businesses can earn one, two or three stars in our system, for the amount of single use plastic they're able to eliminate, as well as the number of blue actions they're able to take. […] We added this blue action layer to really highlight going beyond just tackling plastic, thinking of that as a gateway and a starting point, but really going beyond that to also consider these other waste management aspects, composting, recycling, […] [and even beyond that like] sourcing food, […] cleaning products.”

[8:01] “We do also have a new component of the program that is geared towards the consumer goods industry, [which] our product and packaging seal. And so this is to recognize businesses that are manufacturing products that themselves are plastic free, or […] the product itself and its packaging are both plastic free. […] And with this, we are really specifically focusing on eliminating plastics and packaging, because it is such a massive polluter.”

[14:51] “[In the US] we don't have the recycling infrastructure needed to keep up with the demand of materials that we're producing and discarding here in this country. So we've been exporting our waste, previously to China, now to other countries that do not have the capacity to handle it.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 22 min | 🗓️ 01/24/2022
✅ Time saved: 20 min