Ocean Initiatives: an unprecedented outcome


The Ocean Initiatives is a program aiming at reducing marine litter at their source. Surfrider seeks to change the society through local actions such as waste collections on river borders, lakes, seas and sea beds. The data collected during those actions also allows to make a global inventory of the situation, allowing to adapt the European regulatory framework.  

A record year ! 

Even thought it would be tempting to think that after a the 25th edition, the project could have lost some strength, we are very proud to announce that the Ocean Initiatives broke a historical record in terms of organized collections and public awareness. This year, 1420 organized collections took place in more than 47 countries around the world. Most importantly, 56 245 took part of the actions on the field to fight against marine waste. Those numbers show us how the protection of the ocean is more than ever a subject of interest, and that we will not give up! 

The 2018 Ocean Initiatives in figures  

Participatory science is essential for lobbying activities

It’s been 5 years now that Surfrider Foundation Europe offers to participants the chance to become real pollution observers and agents of change thanks to participatory science. Your implication helps us to get a better understanding of pollution through Europe and help us to be aware of the specific issues countries have to face in order to fight against the spreading of marine waste.The collected data helps us to support our speech in front of public decision-makers and companies by showing them the hard truth about what marine environments are undergoing due to pollution, and by sharing with them the main “ocean predators”. Our alarm call finally triggered some attention: the European Parliament and the Council adopted earlier this year a Directive about single use plastics. Taking place in 2021, this text both seeks the reduction at the source of 10 types of single use plastic wastes by taking several measures like the duty of marking products or simply by banning.

Those 10 plastic wastes have not been chosen randomly. They are the most important single use plastic waste that you can find on European coasts. It is thanks to the implication, the patience and the courage of thousands of people taking part of the Ocean Initiatives to count plastic waste that this has been possible.

Because every minute counts when it comes to marine waste, we would like to use the occasion to thank you again. This victory is yours, and was possible thanks to your full implication and determination to succeed, which, year after year, gets the environmental cause forwards and allows a growing interest for ocean protection.   

What our participants have to say

“We decided to organize an Ocean Initiative because we wanted to show the state of our beaches to the participants. Indeed, it’s the only way to raise awareness among participants.”

Allesandro Belloti, Imperia, Italy

“The ocean Initiatives are most of all for me a tool to organize events and raise awareness among the public while participating to a concrete action with a scientific based approach concerning sorting and collected wasted counting.”

Sonia Serra, France, La Réunion

“Our day led to beautiful encounters. People who were already sensitive about environmental protection who wanted to do more. Children, who were already made aware of the subject, were also important actors during the march as well as during collected waste sorting and counting.” 

Céline Morisseau, France, Gironde

Check the complete report

Similar articles


Plastic Origins: Artificial intelligence to stop pollution at its source

We now know that the majority of the plastic pollution in the Ocean comes from rivers that pass through m...

read more

France must take the fight against plastics to the international level

Unlike most of its European partners, the French government is taking a surprising “wait-and-see” att...

read more

our values


The passion for the oceans, the coastline and the pleasures animate everyone who supports Surfrider and guides the organization's action.


Surfrider is rooted in the value of sharing and participation through inclusion and diversity.


Surfrider seeks a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.