Australian impact-led drinks brand Lo Bros Not Soda drives ocean clean up in partnership with Seven Clean Seas and comes as the world awaits the United Nations Treaty on Plastic.
June 9 2023 | Australian impact-led drinks brand Lo Bros Not Soda, in collaboration with Seven Clean Seas, is putting the ocean first to stem the rising tide of plastic pollution. Through a large-scale ocean clean-up in Indonesia, Not Soda is determined to halt the estimated tripling of plastic floating in our oceans over the next decade. It comes as the world eagerly awaits the draft of a UN treaty on plastic, currently being negotiated in Paris.
Why is this important? Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Humanity is faced with a need for imminent action on ocean conservation. Australia is responsible for transitioning to a circular economy whilst contributing to the clean-up effort, and Not Soda is leading the way.
Some of the world’s biggest soft drink companies have been revealed as the worst polluters around the globe. In addition, Australia is one of the largest plastic producers in the world. Just last month, UN Treaty UNEP chief Inger Andersen said of plastic waste, “We cannot recycle our way out of this mess,” adding that “only elimination, reduction, a full life-cycle approach, transparency and a just transition can bring success.”
This week, the Not Soda and Seven Clean Seas teams are in Indonesia, one of Australia’s closest neighbours, in the fishing village of Air Gelubi. The village has one of the highest levels of environmental plastic waste leakage globally, and clean-up efforts by local organisations and their partners are critical. Indonesia is home to some of the most biodiverse marine environments in the world, along with Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.
Lo Bros founder Didi Lo said, “As World Oceans Day approaches, we reflect on the persistent issue of plastic pollution and the burden it places on disadvantaged nations. Seven Clean Seas, in partnership with Not Soda, has made remarkable strides in tackling this challenge by recovering a significant amount of plastic waste from waterways. As we celebrate this achievement, we must recognise the importance of collective action. We’re facing a global trash emergency, and the time to act is now.”
Seven Clean Seas Co-founder Tom Peacock-Nazil, said, “Once plastic enters the marine environment, it becomes a global issue, and if we want to focus on avoiding this ocean catastrophe, we need to band together internationally and domestically. The seas are f***ing awesome, but they’re filled with plastic! Luckily our mates at Lo Bros shared our love for the ocean and partnered up Not Soda with Seven Clean Seas to do something about it!”
Lo Bros Not Soda and Seven Clean Seas have united in an initiative to address the problem, focusing their efforts on the islands of Batam and Bintan in the Riau Archipelago, Indonesia. These regions are among the hardest hit by plastic waste, and the lack of adequate waste management infrastructure exacerbates the problem. In communities of stilted houses over the sea (kampongs), residents have nowhere to dispose of their plastic trash, so it often goes through a hole in their floorboards directly into the marine environment.
Fresh video footage in the fishing village of Air Gelubi shows the Seven Clean Seas team on the coasts of Bintan, where tonnes of plastic waste rolls up on the shore and accumulates daily. The islanders who live in Kawal village, Bintan, pull the plastic out of the ocean on a daily basis after experiencing significant plastic waste washing up and contaminating their beaches. The situation is worsening, with waste building up on the entire coastline of Indonesia. It is a worldwide issue that demands attention.
To mark World Oceans Day, Not Soda, along with Seven Clean Seas, are on the ground in Bintan to drive participation in ocean clean-up activities and drive change within some of the most impacted areas of Indonesia, highlighting the vital need to remove ocean plastic on an unforeseen scale. The recovered ocean plastic is then sent for sorting, separating, and classification at Seven Clean Sea’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), where it is then recycled and repurposed into the circular economy or sent for secondary processing where necessary.
Not Soda’s ocean cleanup efforts have already removed the equivalent weight of an astounding one million plastic bottles (17,000 kgs) from these vulnerable ocean ecosystems, well ahead of schedule on their pledge to remove 5 million bottles by 2025. This cleanup initiative has also provided over 60 local families with living wages and fair working conditions, contributing to the local economy.
Australian businesses have an opportunity to support and fund these vital cleanup efforts.
Lo Bros Not Soda encourages Australian brands to get on board and join the fight against plastic pollution in our oceans.