SoulBuffalo Announces the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN), a Community to Advance Scientific Breakthroughs, Product Innovation, New Relationships and Business Models to Address the Ocean Plastics Crisis

1/14, 3:00 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

HIGH FALLS, N.Y., Jan. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SoulBuffalo today announced experiential summits at ocean plastic hotspots around the globe and an online community that unites leaders to drive to accelerated, collaborative action around the ocean plastics crisis.

At launch, the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network has more than 50 members including 5 Gyres, ACTAI, American Chemistry Council, As You Sow, Avery Dennison, Berry Global, Carnival Corporation, CharterNEX Films, Circulate Capital, The Clorox Company, Closed Loop Partners, The Coca-Cola Company, Conservation International, Dow, First Mile, Greenbiz, Greenpeace, Hatch, HP, IDEO, Material Solutions, Kimberly-Clark, Meridian Institute, Milliken, National Geographic Society, Nestle Waters, Ocean Recovery Alliance,  NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, P&G, PepsiCo, PYXERA Global, The Recycling Partnership, SAP, Second Muse, specking+partners, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Thinknum, SYSTEMIQ, UPSTREAM Solutions, Warner Babock Institute, Waste Management, WBCSD, and WWF., live today, is an online membership community that promotes and advances solutions-oriented projects and ideas from experts and advocates, and serves as a unified source of industry news, tools, and resources curated by the network’s editorial team.

In conjunction with the launch of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network community, SoulBuffalo is also expanding its global exploration into Europe via the Second Annual Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit. The experiential convening, scheduled for Spring 2020, will sail from the Azores, an archipelago off the coast of Portugal to Bournemouth, England and give participants a 360-degree immersion into the ocean plastics crisis in the East Atlantic. 

In May 2019, SoulBuffalo hosted the First Annual Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit off the coast of Bermuda. The Summit was the first event to convene leading organizations in the plastics supply chain and provide first-hand experience observing plastic waste in one of the world’s five oceanic gyres. 

"The Ocean Plastic Leadership Network enables us to have face to face conversations with companies producing and selling much of the world's single-use plastic,” said John Hocevar, director of USA Oceans Campaign at Greenpeace. “Tackling the plastic pollution crisis will require all of us working to urgently reduce the amount of plastic that is being produced and identify new ways of bringing products to people. So far, there is broad agreement on the problem but we have some tough conversations ahead as to what real solutions look like."

“Addressing the plastic problem in our oceans is everyone’s responsibility—including the companies that use much of the plastic in the world today,” said Virginie Helias, chief sustainability officer, P&G. “At P&G we strive to make our packages with a next life in mind, and we know that accelerating collection and recycling, innovating on new materials and business models, and investing in infrastructure at scale will require a new level of public-private collaboration.  The Ocean Plastics Leadership Network is a powerful platform that brings decision-makers together so we can move to solutions faster, with deeper impact.”

“The Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit brought me close-up to one of the biggest challenges the world faces today. The experience reminded me of the importance of what we are trying to accomplish in sustainability at Nestlé Waters North America. From designing for recyclability, increasing our use of recycled content, and investing in recycling infrastructure to exploring alternative packaging options and various business models, sustainability is at the core of our business,” said David Tulauskas, vice president and chief sustainability officer at Nestlé Waters North America. “We remain committed to minimizing the overall environmental footprint of our packaging and collaborating with others like the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network on creating impactful solutions that help address the ocean plastic crisis.”

A Solutions-Centric Community

Organized around collectively driving solutions to end plastic waste, the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network endeavors to create change through scientific breakthroughs, product and process innovation, and new business models. Following the Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit, several initiatives have been hatched that aim to address the ocean plastics crisis. Focus areas for developing projects, ideas and new business models include retail transformation, zero waste villages, alternative materials, innovations in packaging innovation, mechanical and global recycling innovation and achieving price parity between virgin and recycled plastic.

In a partnership born from the Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit, PYXERA Global, 5Gyres, and First Mile have partnered on an ambitious project to create a blueprint for Zero Plastic Waste Communities around the world.  These organizations have received funding for an initiative that will assess three geographically and economically diverse set of communities and cities to understand their distinct relationships with plastic in a reduce-reuse-recycle context. Ultimately, the Zero Waste Plastic Communities will identify and develop scalable interventions while transitioning behavior change to achieve zero plastic leakage.

Separately, inspired by relationships built on the Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit voyage, organizations representing waste pickers in India, Africa, Brazil and Haiti are working with Meridian Institute to develop an initiative to jointly expand their effectiveness in recycling plastics and other materials.  Ideas range from mapping the global network of waste pickers, to creating a platform to compare supply and demand for different plastics, to expanding awareness of what steps can be taken to address waste pickers basic needs.  Abundant challenges exist but so does a newfound commitment to advancing solutions and the potential for innovative partnerships with global brands, software developers and NGOs.

“The Ocean Plastics Leadership Network’s mission is to bring brilliant leaders from across the solution spectrum together in unforgettable, powerful settings rooted in the heart of the ocean plastics crisis, to drive toward accelerated action,” said Dave Ford, co-founder of The Ocean Plastics Leadership Network. “In our experience, convening in more than 100 countries on 7 continents, we have found that relationships that could take years to form can happen in a matter of days in a powerful setting. There is no time to waste, and there is no shortage of leaders dedicated to solving this crisis, from activist NGOs to the petrochemical sector, and the thousands of organizations in between. We will be bringing these organizations (brands, NGOs, Alliances, Universities, Waste Picking cooperatives, student groups, etc) together in an unforgettable way to foster rapid collaboration, experiencing this crisis first hand, while deeply forging bonds, partnerships, and breakthrough solutions that will last a lifetime.”

For more information on the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network please visit:

For more information on SoulBuffalo, please visit:

Jason Throckmorton
SoulBuffalo Enterprises

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