Giving Compass' Take:

• Mark J. Spalding offers insight on how to reduce plastic pollution but ultimately argues that the way forward is to stop depending on plastic altogether. 

• What strategies and laws would need to be put in place for everyone to work toward a no-plastic world? How feasible is this goal?

• Read about the next wave in philanthropy: funding the ocean.

This year, 70 of us gathered to talk about the future of plastic in our world, especially as to how we can reduce the harm from plastic pollution to the ocean. This gathering included experts from grassroots organizations, university chemistry departments and from industry and law. There were determined anti-plastic campaigners and passionate individuals thinking creatively about how to deal with plastic trash in the poorest countries in the world.

I understood that The Ocean Foundation’s role might best be to continue to support some of the excellent existing options, provide evaluation, strive to go plastics-free and identify where there may be gaps that could be filled by dedicated individuals around the world.

But after a week of talking with experts on ocean plastic pollution, my thinking has evolved from that of support, analysis and referral to good projects for funding to our assemblage of donors to the need to add a new element to the effort.

We not only need to reduce plastic waste – we need to reduce our dependence on plastics overall.

One major challenge is how much of the plastic produced and thrown away in my lifetime is still out there in our soil, in our rivers and lakes and in the ocean. Stopping the flow of plastic into the rivers and the sea is urgent.

One Klosters discussion focused on whether we need to rank the value of individual plastic uses and tax or ban them accordingly.

The legislative strategy – however it might be structured – needs to include both incentives for better waste management and the development of appropriate technologies to improve recyclability at realistic scales.

Read the full article about reducing plastic pollution by Mark J. Spalding at News Deeply.