UNDP and The Ocean Cleanup team up to tackle plastic pollution

February 9, 2023
Ocean clean up
Fouad Juez / UNDP

New York, NY – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The Ocean Cleanup today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on eliminating plastic pollution in oceans and rivers around the globe.

The goal of the partnership is to reduce leakages of plastics into marine ecosystems by boosting policies and behavior change aimed at advancing sound plastic waste management systems and reducing overall plastic pollution, and accelerating the deployment of interception technologies in rivers to end marine plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution poses an existential threat to the health of the world’s oceans and the billions of people who depend on marine resources for food and income. Partnerships play a critical role in addressing this complex global challenge.

“Eliminating plastic pollution in all its forms is key to protecting human and planetary health and safeguarding sustainable development,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. “This alliance is an important step to curb the flow of plastic pollution into oceans and rivers but also to raise awareness, support sound policy making, and trigger behavioral change along the entire plastic value chain.” 

“After our valuable experience working with local UNDP teams to tackle riverine plastic pollution in the Dominican Republic, we are excited to partner with UNDP to further promote sustainable ocean health,” said The Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO Boyan Slat. “We believe that, through this alliance, we can help accelerate the deployment of our technologies to eliminate plastics from the oceans and rivers, as well as support broader policies aimed at waste management and reducing plastic pollution.”

This new partnership comes at a critical time as negotiations for an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, are taking shape.