From overfishing to hypoxic dead zones to huge patches of garbage, the world’s oceans are in trouble. Globally, plastic pollution remains one of the most pervasive problems affecting marine ecosystems. Plastic waste has surfaced in a wide range of marine habitats, from debris polluting the planet’s coasts to tiny microplastics embedded in deep-sea sediments. Almost 8 tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the world’s oceans each year, and at the current rate, we could dump 53 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s seas each year by 2030, according to one report of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
This holiday season, actor and environmental activist Adrian Grenier sheds light on the issue of plastic pollution through a collaboration with Mount Gay Rum and Sea bags, contributing to marine conservation efforts with the release of the Mount Gay x Sea Bags Collection Ocean Currents. Comprising two limited-edition bags, a tote and a beverage bucket, the collection helps fund the removal of plastic from the world’s seas by supporting waste disposal and reuse projects undertaken by 4ocean. Handcrafted in Maine from recycled sailboat sails, the weather-resistant Ocean Currents Mount Gay x Sea Bags collection features hemp rope handles and features a design inspired by the swirling ocean currents of the planet. . Through 4ocean’s Book + program, each tote bag purchased helps fund the disposal of two pounds of plastic waste from the world’s oceans and coasts, while the Beverage Bucket supports the disposal of one pound of plastic waste.
An advocate of marine conservation for more than six years, Grenier co-founded Lonely whale in 2015, a foundation dedicated to the defense of the planet’s oceans with targeted initiatives aimed at combating plastic waste. Through Lonely Whale, Grenier has worked to tackle plastic pollution in the world’s oceans with initiatives like the #StopSucking campaign, an effort to reduce the impact of single-use plastic straws. Lonely Whale was also the spearhead of the Strawless in Seattle which led Seattle to become the first city in the United States to ban plastic straws in 2018. Appointed as the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador in 2017, Grenier also worked to attract attention to the fate of marine species, advocate for the United Nations Wild for life campaign to support the conservation of critically endangered sawfish, and as executive producer for the documentary The Loneliest Whale, released earlier this year.
âI want to make sure that my values ââare reflected in any partnership I create, and when I started to uncover the deep history of Mount Gay in and around the ocean and their recent efforts to help mitigate plastic waste and to preserve the ocean, of course, it was a no-brainer, âsays Grenier.
Mount Gay Rum also has a deep-rooted connection to the ocean. Barbados’ oldest rum producer is believed to be the birthplace of the spirit, the roots of Mount Gay Rum stretch back over 300 years, to an act listing a still, dated 1703. And today, the Mount Gay Rum’s coastal location still shapes the production process, which incorporates coral-filtered water and a fermentation process using yeast from the sea air. The connection to the ocean has also catalyzed a commitment to sustainability and marine conservation. Through a continuous partnership with 4ocean, Mount Gay has helped fund the removal of 20,000 pounds of plastic waste from the world’s seas and has also set itself the goal of fully relying on 100% sustainable agriculture by 2025.
âAt the heart of this collaboration is plastic reduction and awareness,â says Grenier.
âAt Lonely Whale, we were there in the beginning to try to get plastic pollution into people’s minds, so we’re happy that it’s a priority and part of our daily consciousness at this point,â Grenier adds.
Like Mount Gay Rum, Sea Bags also has a deep connection to the ocean and sustainability. By recycling used sails to create handcrafted bags and tote bags, the Maine-based company has kept more than 700 tons of material from going to landfills.
“It’s a multifactorial endeavor and it’s not just about being more attentive to how we consume, but also how we maybe reduce the amount we consume and then how we connect with each other. to others, it is probably the most important element, âsays Grenier.
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