Challenging Plastic Pollution with Parley

Jan 30, 2018 | BY Chris Couve

More than seven-tenths of this planet’s surface is covered in water. That blue expanse is Earth’s greatest playground and classroom, and its most vital ecosystem. Life in the oceans generates the oxygen for every second breath we take. It regulates the climate, the weather, the temperature. Our very survival as a species is intertwined with the sea, but too often we unknowingly contribute to its destruction.




Every minute, the equivalent of a dump truck full of plastic waste enters the oceans from the coasts. 80 percent of marine pollution is from land-based sources. No one wakes up in the morning and decides to destroy the oceans, but somehow, by our actions (or lack thereof), we all contribute to the destruction. It’s not too late to turn things around. We have the knowledge, tools, and imagination. So how do we connect the dots and make peace with our life support system?




Facing Plastic Pollution

Parley for the Oceans is the network where creators, thinkers and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. Parley sees the key to solutions in creative collaboration and eco innovation, and in helping people fall in love with the oceans. Since there are no simple answers to the complex threat of plastic pollution, Parley developed a simple strategy that can be scaled across households, businesses and countries. That strategy — Parley AIR: Avoid, Intercept, Redesign — is shifting the conversation and driving change in the communities that mold reality.




Parley and Starboard are working together to implement Parley AIR through initiatives focused on Communication and Education, Direct Impact, Research and Development, and Eco-Innovation, including:
  • Reducing plastic use by replacing harmful materials, products and methods with eco-innovative alternatives at every opportunity. This includes reengineering our boards using more sustainable materials [link to eco-innovation article], using rPET from Waste2Wear for our board bags, and replacing our plastic packaging with paper bags that can be repurposed again and again.
  • Organizing cleanups to intercept plastic waste from our own headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, to around the world with the #StarboardWorldCleanup – inspiring paddlers worldwide to turn advocacy into action and take responsibility for their local waters.
  • Raising awareness and supporting legislation to take care of our oceans with the Plastic Regulation Matrix and in person action at events like the ASEAN Conference on Reducing Marine Debris.
  • Providing the tools to educate future Ocean Guardians through stand-up paddle lessons at Parley Ocean School (e.g. youth ocean immersion programs in the Maldives), and by supporting SUPkids in their efforts to raise the next generation of paddlers and ocean advocates.
  • Inspiring and educating ambassadors for the cause.



Take the pledge & join the movement at



written by Bailey Rosen for