Corona sets out plan to protect 100 islands from marine plastics

Leading beer brand Corona has unveiled a plan to protect 100 islands around the world from ocean plastic pollution by 2020 after teaming up with Parley for the Oceans, it announced yesterday (17 May).

The partnership, which has been backed by a-list actors Chris Hemsworth and Diego Luna, will see Corona, which has already been engaging local communities in beach cleanups around the world, assess its own supply chain, with a view to replacing all plastic items.

Corona sets out plan to protect 100 islands from marine plastics

Starting in six key regions from across the globe (Mexico, Maldives, Australia, Chile, Italy, and Dominican Republic), the partners will combat marine plastics, one of the biggest threats to our oceans and human health, by implementing marine pollution collaboration network Parley’s multidisciplinary approach – the Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign) – and make the 100 islands symbols for change.

The need for action in the struggle to combat ocean plastic pollution is pressing, with an estimated 12 million tonnes of plastics entering the marine environment every year, causing untold damage to this ecosystem and, in fact, just this week researchers from the University of Tasmania and the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds found a tiny uninhabited and untouched island in the South Pacific polluted by 17.6 tonnes of plastic.

Corona sets out plan to protect 100 islands from marine plastics
Actor Chris Hemsworth is backing the plan
Corona says it will adopt the Parley AIR strategy across all areas of its brand, and will follow the supply chain assessment with employee education over plastic waste and reducing the use of plastic at brand events.

Thiago Zanettini, Global Vice President of Corona, said: “We needed to take a stand and protect the heart and soul of our brand. We will spread our love for the oceans and make people understand that we need to take care of it, inspiring people to change their own behaviors. Corona is present in more than 180 countries and we have the opportunity and the responsibility to use that reach to be a voice for the oceans.”

The partnership is engaging well-known ambassadors to spread word of the need to address plastic in their home countries, after having recently attended a Parley Ocean School in the Maldives, which brought together artists, designers, filmmakers, marine biologists, musicians, photographers and scientists to witness the negative impact of plastic pollution on the marine ecosystem.

The ambassadors are actors Chris Hemsworth (Australia) and Diego Luna (Mexico), surfer Ramon Navarro (Chile), and actress Nashla Bogaert (Dominican Republic).

Islands in the stream (of plastic)

In addition to its partnership with Corona, Parley for the Oceans has already teamed up with sportswear giant Adidas, last year releasing a range of football shirts worn by football heavyweights Bayern Munich and Real Madrid made from recycled ocean plastics, and a limited edition run of trainers made from 95 per cent ocean plastic.

Commenting on the new partnership, Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, said: “We are all connected to the sea. The state of our islands is a powerful reminder of that fact. Plastic trash travels around the world and washes up on the most remote beaches, enclosing paradise with a belt of colorful plastic debris. It makes you understand that something is dead wrong.

“Plastic is a design failure. To raise awareness and immediately reduce the production of new plastic, we invented Ocean Plastic™ from upcycled marine debris and developed a formula for long-term change — the Parley AIR Strategy: Avoid plastic; Intercept plastic debris; Redesign materials, products and the ways we use them.

“In Corona, we have found the perfect partner to bring this philosophy and strategy to a new territory: the beverage sector. Economy caused this plastic problem in the first place, but with the transformative power of collaboration and Eco Innovation, we can make it the key to the solution.”

Corona sets out plan to protect 100 islands from marine plastics
Mexican actor Diego Luna is another ambassador for the partnership
Australian actor and partnership ambassador Chris Hemsworth added: “I’ve spent a large part of my life in and around the ocean, it’s where a lot of my happiest memories came from. If I had anxieties or worries, I’d head to the ocean and it was always the place where I could reset and be 100 per cent present. My experience in the Maldives made it obvious how our short-term use of plastic has a long-term damaging effect on our oceans. I’m thrilled to be a part of this programme, because I want to inspire people to find a solution and protect the world’s oceans so future generations can enjoy them like I do.”

Parley also partnered with marine conservation group the Plastic Soup Foundation last year to launch the Ocean Clean Wash campaign, aiming to bring together hundreds of companies and non-profits in an effort to change textile design models.

The focus on redesign and keeping plastics out of the ocean in the first place is gaining more and more attention, with Eunomia Research and Consulting suggesting beach cleanups should be prioritized over removing plastic from the ocean itself, and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launching its $2 million New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize this week for the best ideas of how to design recyclable plastic packaging or other alternatives.

More information on the work carried out by Parley for the Oceans can be found on its website.

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