Oria

Oceans and Rivers Impact Alliance

The Golden Thread that links Awareness with Action to tackle global Plastic Pollution, where it matters most.

A fusion of Art and Science through popular culture, media and social media to empower a global movement of young Ambassadors to protect our Ocean and Rivers from plastic pollution.

On an island in the Pacific we will test a revolutionary system of solutions that, when linked together, will take plastic waste and convert it into green energy. This energy will then be used to power the production of pure, clean drinking water, negating the need for yet more bottled water.

Bringing the solutions together in this way has the potential to address 3 of the world’s most critical global challenges:
Plastic Pollution + Climate Change + Pure Clean Drinking Water

This will have a positive impact on the health of the islanders and create a blueprint to be used all over the world.

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Vision

To build a social movement that links awareness with action to create a future where humanity respects the natural world and actively works to preserve, protect and improve it for future generations. Through sustainable change, with significant focus on reducing the use of non-biodegradable plastics, coupled with the removal of accessible plastic pollution in our precious rivers and Oceans our vision is to use the waste plastic to produce clean energy that will, in turn, power the delivery of pure, clean drinking water.

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Mission

A multi-pronged approach on plastic waste pollution, especially single-use, non-biodegradable plastic items. Linking ordinary people across the world to break out of the current cycle of helplessness and hopelessness by using popular culture and media to change minds, hearts and behaviours. Working with local, national and international agencies and conservancy programmes to make a tangible, measurable difference in the environmental impacts of plastic pollution and the availability of pure, clean drinking water:

• Removal and eco-friendly disposal and recycling of accessible plastic waste found on oceanic islands and rivers around the world

• Working to raise awareness of practical, financially viable alternatives to disposal of used plastics

• Educating future generations on their critical role in creating a toxin-free environment for the planet they will inherit

• Bringing value to poor communities and developing countries (who often suffer most) through the generation of clean power, fresh water and trade opportunities derived from the recovered plastics

• Financially self-sustaining over time, to deliver cost-neutral and, ultimately, profitable recycling programmes in the operational locations

• Creating a working model on an island in the Pacific that will serve as a blueprint for other locations throughout the world.

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Values

• Linking people globally to create a powerful movement for change

• Creating local action for global change

• Linking prevention and cure for sustainability

• Linking action to education and empowering youth

• Creating simple ways to move from helplessness and hopelessness to action

• Complimentary, not competitive to other organisations active in this field

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Why

Every aspect of our planet’s ecosystem is linked and a change in one place can have massive consequences thousands of miles away. Half of the oxygen we need to sustain life on earth comes from the Ocean – The majority of the rest of the oxygen we need comes from forests and the rainfall they need comes from the oceans too.

Our planet is being choked by disposable packaging, single use plastics and other waste that is not biodegradable. It pollutes our water table through landfill dumps, it pollutes our rivers, the source of our drinking water.

The rivers then flow into the oceans, carrying significant amounts of waste with them. This pollution impacts the entire food chain and is damaging and even killing valuable and vulnerable ecosystems, as well as the fish that form an integral part of the human diet, especially in the poorest communities, for whom fresh fish is a critical source of food that cannot be substituted.

While every one of us in the developed world can refuse a plastic straw in our drink, a carrier bag at the supermarket, or use a refillable water bottle, we do not often consciously choose foods and other daily items that do not use plastic packaging – we simply accept it as part of our daily lives.

These plastics do tremendous harm to our bodies, our health and our environment and yet we continue to accept this as “normal”. It is not normal, and we need to make changes in our lives that impact not only our own health, but the health of our plant and the health of future generations – what’s crazy about this is that many of the changes we need to make are relatively small and very simple.

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Where

The chosen location for the pilot project is on an island close to Fiji in the Pacific, because these are the places and people on the front line of climate change, the change they barely contributed to, but where the worst effects are suffered.

The Ocean that once sustained them is now rising and threatens their homes and their culture. Yet still the people hope.

The threat of drought is increasingly common throughout the island chains, leading to shortages of fresh water from rainfall, meaning they must buy water in. In addition, the problems caused by plastic waste have a huge impact on the delicate ecosystem on which their lives and livelihoods depend.

Because of the danger to the people and the delicate coastal and oceanic ecosystems, there is an urgent need to manage plastic waste.

But their story is also our story. We are all islanders, surrounded by water. The Pacific islands are a microcosm of what is happening all over the world.

Piloting the systems on a Pacific island would not only provide a blueprint that can be transferred globally but also immediately assist them with power and fresh water as well, addressing all three major global challenges.

The climate crisis – The Plastic Pollution crisis - The Clean Drinking Water crisis.

So, what are we waiting for?

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How

We will create a virtuous circle using pyrolysis to convert the waste into clean energy and using the power generated to power the production of pure, clean water.

Pyrolysis is a tried and tested technology which “cooks” waste at very high temperatures, without the presence of oxygen. This means there are no poisonous gaseous by-products as there would be with normal incineration, or crude burning with open fires.

Why is this important? Burning plastics under normal conditions creates a number of chemicals as toxic fumes, including dioxins, which are carcinogenic and damage the hormonal and central nervous systems and cyanide, a well-known poison. These chemicals, if breathed or absorbed through the skin, can remain in the cells of the body for long periods of time, meaning they poison not only the person who has ingested them, but potentially also babies born to mothers who have been affected. If they get into drinking water, plants, crops or animals, they also move through the food chain and often become ever more concentrated as they do so.

In contrast to normal burning, the pyrolysis process can safely convert materials containing carbon into energy, or useful and re-usable substances, such as oils, diesel, or virgin plastic raw material, which can be reused to make new products. It makes it possible for developing economies to convert their rubbish into useable, or sellable, products – and/or clean energy that can be used to power homes and schools, or create fresh water, negating the requirement to purchase more bottled water, breaking the cycle of dependency on plastics.

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