Who we are
Plastic Change is a Danish environmental organization on a great mission fighting plastic pollution
Plastic Change is working hard to break the exponential growth of plastic pollution. Plastic is everywhere – on land and in water. Three generations of plastic-use have left its tracks. Only a fraction of it is recycled or destroyed. The rest remains in nature for hundreds of years. We are ambitious, because the challenge is great!
The team consists of a secretariat consisting of 6 permanent employees, distributed across all levels of the organization, and a number of invaluable volunteers. Everyone makes a great, indispensable and professional effort to ensure that the organization can fulfill its ambitions to break the curve of plastic pollution.
How we work: Public, industry, and political
Plastic Change is working hard to reduce single-use plastics. With major brands like Carlsberg, we have contributed to reducing their packaging with 1200 tonnes of plastic annually. We have contributed to removing single-use cups on 4 major Danish festivals. We have won the International Environmental Award for documentation and research in plastic pollution and it’s sources. We have been put political pressure in banning microbeads in cosmetics and developed an app that shows microbeads in products. We have done research and produced knowledge in the great plastic gyres on our plastic expeditions. We have helped the retail chain Lidl to develop the Green Bag, potentially reducing single-use bags in their shops by 20%. We have distributed knowledge on littering to more than 50 million people worldwide. And this is only the beginning….
How we work: International influence
In November 2018 Plastic Change successfully gained accreditation to the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UN Environment. Accreditation is the main entry point for Major Groups and Stakeholders into policy dialogue at UN Environment and this means Plastic Change will be able to directly participate and contribute in the process leading up to sessions of the United Nations Environmental Assembly of UN Environment.
Furthermore, since January 2019 Plastic Change has been a member of the Steering Committee of the global movement Break Free From Plastic, which involves more than 1300 organizations worldwide, envisioning a future free from plastic pollution.
Vision and mission
Plastic pollution threatens the ocean’s food chain. Every year 8-10 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans. If we don’t do anything, by 2025 there will be one ton of plastic to every three tons of fish in the ocean.
Future generations have to live and feed themselves in an environment without plastic pollution, in a future where plastic is sustainable.
Plastic Change wants to start a movement – locally, nationally and globally, leading to the fulfillment of our vision. This will happen through documentation, education, and solutions, focusing on plastic pollution – opposite and in cooperation with the population, corporations and politicians.
How the environmental organization Plastic Change was founded
Plastic Change was founded in April of 2014. The initiative to establish the environmental organization Plastic Change, was taken by marine biologist Henrik Beha Pedersen, in cooperation with a range of volunteers. The organization was founded in Henrik’s living room, in Hellerup, where it was housed for the first few years. Afterwards the office, and the volunteers, moved to their chairman’s basement.
It was not until 2017, that it became possible with the help of grants to pay the salaries of a handful of employees and rent a real office space at Copenhagen harbor.
“Plastic defines our culture. We cannot let it define our future”
(Henrik Beha Pedersen, 2014)
The reason for the creation of Plastic Change, was the realization that plastic defines our culture, but that we cannot let it define our future! Obscured by the overshadowing climate changes rightly claiming the world’s attention, our plastic problem has grown and grown, so it now seems like an unfathomable challenge. We have had a plastic-filled consumer party, and now the hangover is here.
Since we started using plastic, most of the material has been disposed of in nature, and it is still there. Just as useful as the material is due to its strength and durability, just as problematic does it become when it ends up in nature.
Today, a large number of the planet’s habitats have been overrun by plastic. We find plastic in the greatest depths of the ocean, in seabirds, fish, mussels and plankton, and even in honey, wine and beer. The plastic is returning to us humans through our diets. A boomerang of our production pattern that demands an answer.
Plastic Change strives to be part of the solution.