PRINCE CHARLES & ELLEN MACARTHUR: "We must find new ways to keep plastic out of our oceans." The Prince and Dame Ellen join forces to offer a $2 million dollar prize to help stop single use packaging.



 Prince Charles warned last night the ‘alarming flood’ of plastic waste is having devastating effects on the environment.

The Prince has long been outspoken in defence of the environment – previously leading criticism of GM foods, global warming.

Yesterday he launched a scathing attack on plastic waste – which is piling up in our towns, cities, rivers and the sea.

In a scathing attack on the mess humans are making of the planet, he said plastic rubbish cluttering nature is the most visible sign of an ‘ecological and human disaster’.

The Daily Mail has proudly campaigned against the scourge of plastic rubbish.

This newspaper, with our ‘Banish the Bottles’ campaign has led calls to stop the litter caused by plastic bottles with a deposit scheme, and action to get coffee shops to provide cups that can be recycled with ‘Curb the Cups’.

The Prince was speaking at an event launching a £1.5million prize for environmentally friendly packaging design, backed by the conservation charity the Ellen MacArthur Foundation - New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize.



$2 million dollars plastics innovation prize


WHAT IS THE ANSWER: You never know if new packaging materials may come out of this prize, or if a management system might be created that everyone will want to adopt - perhaps to save operating costs. Come on chaps, get your thinking caps on! 


ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER MAR 23 2017 - In a move that could increase consumer awareness about marine plastic pollution — and thus, consumer willingness to pay more for products made from recycled marine plastic — recycling company TerraCycle plans to expand its beach cleanup programs to collect up to 1,000 tons of plastic waste globally.

Earlier this year TerraCycle, in partnership with Procter & Gamble and Suez, developed the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25 percent recycled beach plastic. The Head & Shoulders shampoo bottle will debut in France this summer. TerraCycle told Plastics News that the partners have major expansion plans. The initial beach cleanups collected 15 tons of material in Europe; Brett Stevens, vice president of material sales and procurement at the recycling company, told the publication that the company plans to expand collection efforts to North America and Asia.


“The collection goals we’ve set forth in total approach I would say probably 500 to 1,000 tons coming off beaches over the next 12 months,” Stevens said. “It is very much not a fad. I think that we’re investing the staff and resources and building our programs with our partners, making this a long-lasting impact.” TerraCycle’s statements come as other leading companies are turning their attention to plastic waste ending up in oceans and other waterways.


Last month Dell said it has developed the technology industry’s first packaging trays made with 25 percent recycled ocean plastic content. In January, Unilever CEO Paul Polman called on the consumer goods industry to address ocean plastic waste and employ circular economy models to increase plastic recycling rates. Adidas is also working to solve the problem of plastic pollution in oceans by turning this waste stream into new material for its shoes.


But as environmental groups like Greenpeace and circular economy advocates like the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have shown in recent reports, more needs to be done. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, one-third of the plastic packaging used globally ends up in oceans and other fragile ecosystems. An earlier study by the foundation found there could be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050.

However, as Waste Dive reports, the cost associated with collecting and cleaning marine plastic for reuse in products and packaging means virgin material is cheaper. “A coordinated global campaign that can demonstrate the path from cleaning beaches to putting new products on store shelves might help drive consumer interest in paying a little more for packaging made from this content.”



The organisers said the prize was needed because only 14 per cent of plastic packaging is recycled, with the remainder, worth £60-90 billion worldwide lost as waste.

Most plastic packaging items are used only once before being discarded, often ending up polluting the environment. If nothing changes, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.

The Prince said that the invention of plastic had changed the course of history.

It had enabled great advances in medicine, transport, electronics – and food packaging.

But he added: ‘At the same time, however, we have also witnessed the alarming environmental and social consequences of this now ubiquitous material.

‘With plastic being so cheap and easy to produce, it is little wonder that vast quantities flood our economy each year.

‘Our ability to manage this flow, however, is struggling to keep pace and, alas, it is equally no great surprise that so much of our plastic waste is ending up in the environment.

‘And because plastics are so extraordinarily durable, once they are in the environment that is where they stay, accumulating at an astonishing rate.’

He added that plastic pollution was a double tragedy, for the environment – particularly rivers and seas, but also because it makes ‘absolutely no economic sense.’

The Prince said we are turning a ‘blind eye’ to a host of environmental evils ranging from overfishing, coral reef decline and acidification.

But ‘perhaps the most visible is the build-up of plastic debris.’

‘I don’t want to dwell on the devastation this is causing (plenty of others are able to do this far more effectively than I can!) but as scientific consensus deepens on the impact of plastic waste on biodiversity, on the food chain, and, dare I say it, on human health, it becomes ever more urgent that we find ways to deal with this escalating ecological and human disaster.’

He added: ‘I can only salute those who dedicate themselves to cleaning up the mess we have already made as this is a critical endeavour in mitigating current damage to ocean ecosystems.

‘But unless we can switch off the tap of new waste flooding in, then, on its own, no extent of clean-up can provide a sustainable solution.’

Calling the term waste ‘out-dated’, the Prince said we need to abandon the ‘take-make-and-waste’ economy that uses resources to create products used fleetingly before they are dumped.

He said that in plastics we need to explore new designs and production of plastics from the outset – and that is why he was proud to launch the He wished luck to those coming up with the answers ‘our children and grandchildren will thank us for and on which the survival of our planet’s marine ecosystem may well depend.’ 

It will challenge groups and individuals to find new ways of designing packaging to help keep it out of the oceans.



Dame Ellen with Prince Charles at a dinner for bird protection



Dame Ellen's foundation published a report earlier this year with the World Economic Forum which claimed that by 2050, the oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish, by weight.

The yachtswoman said: 'After 40 years of effort, globally only 14 per cent of plastic packaging is collected for recycling, with one third escaping collection and ending up in the environment.

'If we want to change this, we must fundamentally rethink the way we make and use plastics.

'We need better materials, clever product designs and circular business models. 

'That's why we are launching the New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, calling for innovators, designers, scientists and entrepreneurs to help create a plastics system that works.'

Prince Charles, whose ISU has been campaigning for sustainability within the marine environment, will deliver the keynote speech at the launch event.

At a meeting earlier this year with business leaders, designers and material experts, the Prince called for a rethink in the way products are designed, saying the 're-use, recovery and regeneration' model should be adopted.

The prize features two elements: A circular design challenge invites applicants to rethink how products can get to the consumer without generating plastic waste like wrappers, straws and coffee cup lids; while the circular materials challenge seeks ways to make all plastic packaging recyclable.

Entrants are competing for hundreds of thousands of pounds in grants and winners will enter a 12-month accelerator programme offering access to industry experts, commercial guidance and labs for testing and development.

The first winners will be announced later this year. By Colin Fernandez Environment Correspondent For The Daily Mail


Read more in the Evening Standard article 3 Feb 2017



International sustainability unit  Champion round the world yachtswoman


PRINCE CHARLES & ELLEN MACARTHUR: "We must find new ways to keep plastic out of our oceans." The Prince and Dame Ellen join forces to offer a $2 million dollar prize to help stop single use packaging.













 This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) May 2017. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a charity without share capital.