Sky and National Geographic join fight against plastic waste with $10 million venture

Sky and National Geographic have joined the fight against plastic waste with a landmark $10 million collaborative venture.

The media giant and acclaimed science and environment magazine have launched a grant scheme and campaign to help eliminate plastic litter choking oceans around the world.

The collaboration was launched as the Prime Minister earmarked a £61.4 million fund to fight the rising tide of plastic pollution.

And it comes amid an ongoing campaign, fronted by the Evening Standard, to eliminate the use of plastic straws.

The National Geographic Society has committed the funds to help bring its scientific expertise to back Sky Ocean Ventures – an initiative launched in March 2018 to “solve the ocean plastic crisis”.

Crisis: plastic waste (PA)

“This is a unique opportunity to build upon National Geographic Society’s 130-year history of investing in bold people with transformative ideas and using the power of our storytellers to help achieve a planet in balance,” Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist and SVP, Grants and Exploration at the National Geographic Society said.

“By 2025, Sky and National Geographic will have helped to bring pledges of people taking action to reduce their own plastic footprint, helped transform the way businesses deal with their supply chain and innovation as far as plastic is concerned and will have invested in or supported technologies with high potential to be transformational.”

Queen and David Attenborough joke about sundial in the shade

Sky’s Group Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch added: “National Geographic is a world leader in science and exploration with expertise, knowledge and credibility that only comes from spending over a century protecting our planet.

“I’m excited that we share the same vision and understand the pressing need to take action and find meaningful solutions to the plastics problem. Together, we will create real impact, and I look forward to bringing other financial and non-financial partners on board.” 

As part of the collaboration, the two named three Sky Ocean Rescue Scholars – named as  Imogen Napper, University of Plymouth, Martina Capriotti, University of Camerino, and Annette Fayet, University of Oxford – who will help run marine-based research projects and receive funding and support from Sky.

Venture: The Sky Ocean Rescue Scholars

Over the weekend, Theresa May announced a fund ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting – where she was due to call on all of the 52 leaders present to sign up to the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance – a strategy to help developing Commonwealth nations research and improve and waste management.

“This week we will look closely at how we can tackle the many threats to the health of the world’s oceans, including the scourge of marine plastic pollution,” she said.

“As one of the most significant environmental challenges facing the world today it is vital that we tackle this issue, so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we currently find it.”

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