How was Plastic Free Seas (PFS) started?
Having been organizing beach cleanups for years in Discovery Bay, and speaking at more and more schools about doing beach cleanups, volunteering and the general issue of plastic marine pollution, our founder Tracey Read decided to participate in a research expedition through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to see for herself exactly what it was. She had been thinking about the need for a charity to focus on education and awareness in schools. Upon her return in the summer of 2012, the pellet spill happened and she found herself part of a small team of people leading the cleanup, liaising with government departments, media and other involved organizations. This event highlighted the need for education, and Plastic Free Seas became a reality less than a year later.
What is the mission of PFS?
Plastic Free Seas‘ has a clear and simple mission: to see a reduction in the amount of plastic that is entering our oceans.
What is PFS’s geographical focus?
Plastic Free Seas‘ geographical focus is Hong Kong, although we have worked with people from Guangzhou, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan and Korea on this issue. The focus is on empowering people with local solutions for what is a global issue.
What are PFS’s goals for Hong Kong specifically?
PFS’ goals are as follows: to see a decrease in people’s reliance on and use of single-use plastic such as water bottles, shopping bags, cutlery, straws, etc; to increase awareness of the issues related to plastic marine pollution; and to promote change through education in schools and our corporate programs; to encourage the government to devise strategies to improve the waste problems, both on land and at sea.
How can Hong Kongers get involved with PSF?
People can help Plastic Free Seas in a number of ways, starting with looking at their own plastic usage to see where they can make changes (say no to straws, bring your own water bottle, shopping bag, cutlery, etc). Children are an important demographic to reach. They can participate in any beach cleanup around Hong Kong, or organize their own. Raising awareness is key, so the more schools we can reach the better. Let us know if you would like PFS to speak at your child’s school- you can make an introduction or just let us know and we can contact the school on our own.
We are always happy to receive professional assistance in areas such as finance, marketing, fundraising, campaigning, videography, human resources, etc. If you are interested in volunteering with PFS, you should let us know your area of interest and skills so that we can find the right opportunity for them.
What are some of your favourite charities, other than PSF of course?
All photos courtesy of Plastic Free Seas.