Charting a course to healthier seas

We need the Ocean. We love the seas. But we know they are in trouble. We work to make big changes in the way people treat the greatest life support system on Earth.

Rapid economic growth and fast-expanding populations have led to a global plastic pollution crisis too big and too complex to solve alone. Our mission is to reduce the amount of plastic made and stop it polluting our people, our economies and our planet.

We provide the right people with the right tools to navigate the complexity of tackling waste at source and deliver new ways to manage and re-use plastic. Our research and work on the ground harness the collective expertise of people, governments and businesses to implement action in their own communities to halt the threats of Ocean plastic.

Our Projects

We are building solutions that investigate and provide practical answers in four ways:

Clean Blue Alliance

Our vision is a global network of plastic waste-free islands. We are working with governments, councils, businesses and local changemakers to identify and accelerate the solutions that have the biggest impact in reducing the plastic leaking into their seas.

Learning from our on the ground initiatives, the Clean Blue Alliance connects islanders to share experiences, combine strengths, develop assets and build on models that work. Proven solutions bought to life at Island scale will provide insights for geographies with more complex material flows. We celebrate island communities that strive to become plastic free and attract environmentally-aware-tourists. The Clean Blue Alliance is active in Greece and the Maldives and are in talks with island communities elsewhere.

Healthy Me. Healthy Sea.

We are researching the health effects of breathing in and eating tiny plastic particles.

Microplastic particles get into our bodies via the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, but we don’t know how serious this may be for human health. So, we convened 32 experts who reached a consensus that plastic pollution is a human health risk and identified urgent research needs. We have commissioned research to understand if plastic is in our blood and tissue. We will share findings and try to accelerate a new wave of public support and political action to end plastic pollution. More research is imperative to build a robust case on the health implications of the plastic particles we are exposed to.

Plastic Drawdown

There are many ways countries can reduce their plastic pollution, but what works best?

We have developed a ‘wedges’ model, policy analysis and toolkit to help governments understand their plastic problem and identify the most effective policies to reduce plastic in their seas.

The model projects plastic leakage into rivers and seas until 2030. It highlights the short and long term opportunities for plastic reduction, helps decision-makers forecast the impact of different actions and spells out the time gap between implementation and results. Plastic Drawdown is available for Greece, Indonesia, the Maldives and the United Kingdom. We are developing a global policy analysis in partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Plastic Drawdown Briefing PDF

Ocean Academy

Common Seas wants to inspire a generation of sea champions, and we are working with schools to put plastic pollution and the Ocean into the school curriculum.

We convened a group of education leaders, teachers, plastics experts and marine researchers to see how children can learn about the Ocean and plastic and gain the knowledge needed to solve the problems it poses. We have devised a programme aligned to the UNSDG’s and national curriculums and starting in the UK, the plan is to roll it out country-by-country with multimedia resources for teachers and government education departments.

Legendary ocean protector Jacques-Yves Cousteau famously said that ‘people protect what they love, they love what they understand and they understand what they are taught’.

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