Project Report:
Catalyzing market-based solutions for Henderson Island’s “tragic plastics” to stop marine litter at the “root cause”
Purpose
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.

Summary

The goals of this grant are as follows:
1. Provide initial support for a 2020 return site visit to Henderson Island to complete work that was not accomplished in 2019.
2. Support efforts related to collaborations around “circular economy” solutions for what do to with the plastic waste from Henderson Island.
3. Advance public speaking engagements related to Henderson Island.

Description

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, all conferences/events where Howell Conservation Fund was scheduled to speak about Henderson Island have been cancelled or postponed. The April/May expedition back to Henderson Island has also been put on hold as all passenger services to Pitcairn Island have been suspended until further notice. New plans will be developed after the world recovers from this global pandemic.

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In Summer 2019, Howell Conservation Fund was a lead participant in an expedition to Henderson Island, the world’s most plastic polluted beach as defined by a peer-reviewed 2017 scientific publication.

The 2019 expedition was extremely successful in achieving most of the key performance indicators (KPIs) we set out to accomplish. Approximately 6 metrics tons of predominately plastic waste were collected, and the expedition achieved global media attention. Brett Howell, Executive Director of Howell Conservation Fund, was prominently covered in the stories as the team leader for the beach cleanup work.

Following the success of the summer 2019 work, the goals of this follow-up project are as follows:

1. Provide initial support for a 2020 return site visit to Henderson Island to complete work that was not accomplished in 2019 due to weather conditions and equipment failure beyond our control. While we were able to clean up the beach to “bottle cap” size plastic, some members of the expedition team were “shipwrecked” on the island due to the support boat’s prop getting caught in rope pollution and flipping. As a result, our mechanism for removing waste from the island was not feasible. To finish the 2019 project, we must return to Henderson Island to remove the waste.

2. Support efforts related to collaborations around “circular economy” solutions for what do to with the plastic waste from Henderson Island. A circular economy solution is one that keeps plastic in constant use in the economy (e.g. via recycling of a PET water bottle) rather than the more “linear” economy we generally have where plastics are “single use” and end up in landfill.

3. Advance public speaking engagements related to Henderson Island.

Purpose

#1: investigate the causes of economic imbalances – the project focuses on the economic imbalance of “externalities” from plastic production and unaccounted for impacts on ecosystem services in the oceans.


#4: explore and develop market-based solutions – the project is heavily focused on market-based solutions for plastics, including ways that ocean plastic pollution cleanups can become self-sustaining, rather than relying on philanthropic dollars to cover the “externalities” of pollution cleanup.

Scope

Project activities will take place in the U.S. and internationally (in the Pitcairn Islands, a U.K. overseas territory) and will work to be a pilot study/demonstration related to solutions for ocean plastic pollution.

Information Dissemination

Regular progress updates will be provided through the Walker Foundation website, providing details about progress against all four of the project goals: 1). 2020 return to Henderson Island site visit 2). Ongoing collaborations with project partners around solving at the “root cause” of plastic pollution, and 3). Public speaking engagements.

Amount Approved
$15,000.00 on 12/9/2019 (Check sent: 12/17/2019)


Attachments
Henderson Island summer 2019

Contacts


Brett Howell
Executive Director, Howell Conservation Fund, Inc.

Posted 12/1/2019 1:10 PM
Updated   3/26/2020 11:02 AM

  • Nonprofit


Henderson Island summer 2019
Henderson Island beach, summer 2019

 
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