Clean Blue Alliance works top down and bottom up with island communities - including government, councils, businesses and local changemakers - to understand plastic waste flows and impacts from source to sea. It then identifies and accelerates solutions with the biggest impact potential in reducing plastic leakages into the ocean.
Clean Blue Alliance connects islands with the latest and most effective best practice, through shared research, assets, guidance and dynamic tools to build a global network of plastic waste-free islands.
The Clean Blue Alliance is currently active on islands in Greece and the Maldives and is in discussion with Indonesia.
“Clean Blue Alliance is an exciting collaborative solution-led approach that engages top down and bottom up, combining research, policy, innovation and community action. The Municipality of Paros are proud partners on a journey with Common Seas to eliminate plastic waste from source to sea.” Markos Kovaios
Mayor of Paros Island
Islands tend to have a more intimate relationship with the ocean and plastic pollution is often more visible. They are usually easier to engage in whole system change when it comes to material waste flows.
We see islands as microcosms of larger human settlements, so breakthroughs at an island level offer accelerated learnings for larger geographies with more complex material flows.
Tourism is usually critical for the economy, so governments are engaged in the issues of plastic and marine pollution.
How do we stem the flow of plastic into rivers and seas?
Clean Blue Alliance initiatives are designed around three principle elements:
Identify waste streams and leakage
We start with robust investigations to thoroughly understand an island’s plastic ecosystem, gather baseline data on social factors, marine litter and waste audits for ongoing evaluation, and identify opportunities that can stop plastic waste leaking into the rivers and seas.
Using the Plastic Drawdown approach, we model the national policy landscape and highlight the volume and characteristics of the plastic leakage for the country and the effectiveness of policy interventions that could be demonstrated on the island.
Incubate and accelerate solutions
In this next phase, using co-design approaches, we support communities to respond to opportunities presented by the research phase, incubating and accelerating viable, socially inclusive initiatives that produce lasting impact in tackling marine plastics.
The focus is on demonstrating on-the-ground solutions to transition towards a plastics circular economy and through local systems which radically reduce consumption of single-use plastics.
With remaining waste, we seek to optimise circular resource management to achieve greatest post-market material value, phasing-out materials that have low economic post-use value.
The final phase is scaling up viable initiatives and measures that could be adopted nationally and replicated across the Clean Blue Alliance. This involves investing in viable enterprises and showcasing successful solutions to inform and inspire policy to scale nationally.
The Clean Blue Alliance aims to connect islanders globally 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.
This new approach to addressing plastic pollution helps governments understand plastic waste flows and optimise policies to effectively ‘drawdown’ the flow of ocean plastic pollution.
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.