At every Volvo Ocean Race stopover our Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing, visits a local not-for-profit organisation with their team Vestas 11th Hour Racing to learn more about their environmental work – and deliver a $10,000 grant for their project.
As the Volvo Ocean Race heads north from Melbourne to Hong Kong on Leg 4, 11th Hour Racing has left a lasting legacy for a simple, yet effective, plastic-busting Aussie initiative.
The grant was awarded to Take 3, the brainchild of Tim Silverman, who hit upon the idea of encouraging people to pick up three pieces of plastic and recycle them every time they visit public places such as parks and the beach.
While in #Melbourne we met @Take3fortheSea and joined their movement to pick up 3 pieces of trash every day! We want YOU to become part of this campaign - and we're giving away some swag! #leadingsustainability #VolvoOceanRace Details on the blog: https://t.co/8NNqICmRMT pic.twitter.com/SOVSnjJ1C8— Vestas 11th Hour (@Vestas11thHour) January 5, 2018
Every little action such as this helps to address the crisis of plastic polluting our seas and the biodiversity they support.
Globally, eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year and if no action is taken, our seas will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
Tim Silverwood, CEO of Take 3, said: “We are pleased to be recipients of this grant and are thrilled to see the global attention that Vestas 11th Hour Racing and the Volvo Ocean Race are providing to the plastic pollution issue.
“It was wonderful to meet the 11th Hour Racing team and learn of their passion and commitment for ocean conservation. Take 3 will utilize the funds to fuel our education programs in schools, communities and online.”
Take 3’s education programs have so far reached over 120,000 school students and over 150,000 community members since 2011.
Previous grant recipients of Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s legacy project are: Asociación De Naturalistas Del Sureste in Alicante, Spain; Circular Economy Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal, Environmental Monitoring Group in Cape Town, South Africa.
A range of initiatives has also been introduced during Volvo Ocean Race stopovers to minimise the footprint of the Race Villages. These include significantly reducing single-use plastics, with a focus on plastic water bottles. The introduction of water refill stations has effectively avoided the use of 85000 single-use plastic bottles so far.
The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme is working with the seven race boats to gather critical information on ocean health. We currently have very little scientific data from some of the Oceans the boats pass through. This new information will contribute to scientists having a better understanding of weather patterns and the impacts of climate change.
The Turn the Tide on Plastic boat is also testing salinity, dissolved CO2 and algae alongside groundbreaking tests for microplastics levels in the Oceans.
People can also take action in their own lives to reduce their use of plastics by signing the Clean Seas pledge.
For all of the latest news on the Volvo Ocean Race Sustainability Programme, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter by clicking here