Global Marine Debris
Rapid upscaling of pollution reduction efforts is critical for a healthy and safe planet, with the quantity of mis-managed waste and plastic leakage into the environment predicted to triple by 2060. Earthwatch connects Amcor staff with top scientists to inform research on pollution and climate change.
From Peru to Canada, Scotland to South Africa, Indonesia to Iceland, more than 200 Amcor team members have travelled to unique areas around the world. In small groups they conduct research under the direction of research scientists from a variety of organizations in order to better protect the environment.
Taking part in the Earthwatch program is an incredible opportunity for Amcor staff to:
Contribute directly to science that protects the environment
Experience new places and cultures
Further their understanding of environmental issues such as marine debris.
Participants note that the expedition has changed their lives personally and professionally over the last 20 years. In their day-to-day roles at Amcor, Earthwatch Fellows use their experience to influence product design to encourage recyclability and reusability.
Every day on the Earthwatch expedition was filled with so many incredible experiences and learnings. I already had a strong opinion on environmental issues, and the expedition only reinforced my passion to work towards a more sustainable planet. Since returning, I’ve been working on Paperly™, Amcor’s paper-based packaging that just won Diamond at the Dow’s 2019 Packaging Innovation Awards.” - Anne Sofie Brusendorff, Sales Executive Food Nordics, Amcor, Earthwatch 2018 fellow
Amcor has made strong commitments to improve its packaging’s sustainability, and the knowledge that staff bring back to the company from their Earthwatch experience is invaluable. The partnership has prompted action that leads to long-term social, economic and governmental solutions in countries that need it most.
Marine debris research
Amcor staff have travelled to Bali (2016 and 2019), Cape Town (2017) and Peru (2018) to study the causes and effects of plastic waste on the environment.
During each expedition, they look at a number of transects (points or paths of study) along the coast and document the pieces of debris they find. The sites of transects are carefully selected by the scientists’ team based on factors such as population density, infrastructure, poverty and education levels, land use and coastal proximity.
By understanding the various socio-economic factors that drive pollution, and how this interacts with other factors such as site characteristics, Amcor can help to identify solutions to the issue at its roots and drive lasting change. And it allows scientists to make predictions about debris flows in other areas, and how effective certain measures may be in preventing them.