Business-led land-based solutions to marine debris

WBCSD is launching an initiative to support businesses that want to play an active role in keeping plastics out of oceans. 

Polar Subpolar Killer whales Falkland Is. Photo: Dr. Judith Brown

Healthy oceans are key to a healthy planet and healthy people.

Oceans generate at least half of the oxygen we breathe, help regulate our climate, and are one of the Earth’s largest carbon sinks.

But oceans are in danger. Plastic debris is one of the most serious problems affecting the marine environment. Recent estimates indicate that at least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean every year. Over 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based activities.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) recognises that businesses have an important role to play in addressing this serious issue. On World Oceans Day 2015, WBCSD President and CEO Peter Bakker said, “Our fate is closely tied to that of our oceans. Let’s keep the promise of healthy oceans in a healthy planet with healthy beings.”

One year later, we are proud to announce that WBCSD is launching a new initiative for land-based solutions to address marine debris.

The project will support businesses willing to play an active role in on-land plastic marine debris prevention. It will include, among others: 

  • A business case for why major industries and sectors should get involved
  • A global knowledge-sharing platform for demonstrated and scalable solutions
  • Business support for policy and regulations to improve solid waste management
  • A pilot project to demonstrate that alignment is possible and can be successful

The project is being developed in close collaboration with key organisations that are already active on this front, including IUCN. At the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii in September 2016, WBCSD will discuss this project with the global conservation community.

Together, we can keep the heart of our planet – our oceans – healthy.

Note: the project’s title, action plan and list of activities, objective, and membership are currently being finalised. For more details or to get involved, please reach out to Marie Le Texier ( ).

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