United Nations
Mobilize public, private and philanthropic resources to reduce the amount of plastic flowing into the ocean
by Trash Free Seas Alliance (Other relevant actor)
Ocean Conservancy founded the Trash Free Seas Alliance (Alliance) in 2011. It unites leaders from industry, conservation and academia to create pragmatic, real-world solutions to combat the problem of marine debris. Building upon the growing body of science on plastic marine debris, the Alliance aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste leaking into the ocean annually by 50% by 2025.

Ocean Conservancy and our partners in the Alliance will raise at least $10 million by from 2015-2020 to:

1. Advance scientific understanding of the sources, causes, and impacts of marine plastic debris.

2. Work with the public and private sectors to address the causes of marine plastic debris, particularly through improved waste management.

3. Build sustained support among governments, multilateral institutions, corporations, and the public for addressing this global problem.

Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean. Whether by errant plastic bags or plastic straws winding their way into gutters or large amounts of mismanaged plastic waste streaming from rapidly growing economies, thats like dumping one New York City garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day for an entire year. So much of this plastic is ending up in the ocean that in just a few years, we might end up with a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the sea.

From the tiniest plankton to the largest whales, plastics affect nearly 700 species in our ocean. Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles species, that mistake plastic for food. Plastic has also been found in 28% of fish in markets in Indonesia and 25% of fish in markets in California, where it makes its way to the human food system.

Research has shown that the future of plastics in our ocean will be determined by the way we handle plastics on land. That is why the Trash Free Seas Alliance is focused on finding multisectoral, collaborative solutions to addressing land-based sources of plastics, to turn off the tap flowing into our ocean. Ocean Conservancy established the Trash Free Seas Alliance in 2011 to unite industry, science and conservation leaders who share a common goal for a healthy ocean free of trash. Members aim to reduce and make continual progress toward eliminating ocean trash, including improving waste management and seeking to reduce and, where possible, reinvent products and services that damage ocean wildlife or ecosystems. The Alliance provides a constructive forum focused on identifying opportunities for cross-sector solutions that drive action and foster innovation.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Sound Public Policy
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse:
December 2020
Mobilize over US $10 million in funding from public, private and philanthropic sources to reduce the amount of plastic flowing into the ocean by 50% annually by 2025
Financing (in USD)
10,000,000 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
Technical expertise from TFSA member organizations and companies to support public policy, waste management, and investment and financial innovations that support locally appropriate integrated waste management systems.
Basic information
Time-frame: September 2015 - December 2020
Trash Free Seas Alliance (Other Relevant Actor), Ocean Conservancy (NGO)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Susan Ruffo, Managing Director, International Initiatives, Ocean Conservancy , sruffo@oceanconservancy.org, 202.280.6246
Washington DC, United States
Other SDGs
United Nations