We were lucky enough to be invited along to a recent Volvo Ocean Race function to witness New Zealand’s Associate Environment Minister, Eugenie Sage, sign New Zealand up to the United Nations Clean Seas campaign. We are the 42nd country to do so.

In this year’s Volvo Ocean Race there’s a team called ‘Turn The Tide On Plastic’ representing the United Nations’ ‘Clean Seas’ initiative. They’re campaigning throughout the eight months of the race to raise awareness about the problem of plastics in our oceans.

Did you know that scientist estimate there is over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans and that every year 8 million more tonnes is added!


Volvo Ocean Race


This plastic can then be ingested by whales, turtles and other larger marine animals, or breaks apart (very slowly) forming microplastics that are ingested by animals at the bottom of the food chain, such as plankton. The plastic then works its way back up the food chain as bigger fish eat the smaller fish until eventually it ends up on our dinner plates.

Because the boats in the Volvo Ocean Race travel through such remote parts of the world’s ocean, they provide the perfect opportunity to test how much plastic is in those waters. The Turn The Tide On Plastic team is deploying specialised scientific equipment as they race, providing valuable data for scientists to study.


Bianca Cook 'Bags Not' Facebook profile picNew Zealand sailor Bianca Cook is on board the Turn The Tide On Plastic boat. She spoke at the event highlighting the shocking amounts of plastic they have seen during the race and how everyone needs to work together to stop using single-use plastics. She’s also onboard and spreading the word as an early-adopter of our “Bags Not” Facebook profile pic. You can too. To show your support like Bianca and change your profile pic.

Minister Sage spoke about what we do on the land affects the oceans. “People need to think about whether they really need that single-use plastic bag, single-use plastic straw an disposable packaging.”





To learn more about the Turn The Tide On Plastic campaign, check out the Clean Seas website: www.cleanseas.org.

For more info on the Volvo Ocean Race and how Bianca’s team are tracking, take a look at their website: www.volvooceanrace.com.