The Center for Oceanic Awareness Research and Education (COARE) is dedicated to raising public awareness of the plight of the ocean and to helping find meaningful ways to make a difference in lives.
We met with Christopher Chin, Executive Director of COARE, to hear about the educational programs and outreach they do in addition to their current policy work.
COARE is working toward a global treaty on single-use plastics and plastic production. They are opposed to the Save Our Seas Act 2.0 (“A bill to improve efforts to combat marine debris, and for other purposes”), which is a new bill currently in the US Congress that is largely backed by industry and is supported by the American Chemistry Council.
According to Chin:
“It looks very promising and it does good things for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, but it also paves the way for false solutions like incineration and chemical recycling, which are really bad for the environment. There’s a lot of toxic byproducts. Moreover, it alleviates the plastic industry of any responsibility and allows them to keep making all the plastic they want, and the problem now belongs to everybody receiving the plastic including the small island states developing nations that are seeing this influx.”
There is a larger coalition of over 70 NGOs that are calling on Congress to hold back because it is a dangerous bill that can set a bad precedent. Chin adds:
“We need to get rid of the source. The source is not improved recycling. The source is not better waste management. The source is production. The plastic companies are making more and more ways to force trash upon us. If you go outside, you see that not only do we have plastic cutlery, but we have plastic cutlery that is wrapped in plastic. It’s insane.”
COARE is tax-exempt non-profit organization run and led by volunteers.
Have a passion for the ocean and want to make a difference? Join the COARE newsletter or sign up to volunteer at www.COARE.org.