As the amount of single-use plastic in the world's oceans continues to grow, National Geographic is announcing a new, global commitment to tackle this pressing problem. On Wednesday, the media giant launched Planet or Plastic?, a multiyear initiative aimed at raising awareness of this challenge and reducing the amount of single-use plastic that enters the world's oceans.
As a global brand with a rich history of scientific discovery and exploration, National Geographic is uniquely positioned to tackle this crisis in a way that only National Geographic can — through storytelling and science. The Planet or Plastic? initiative will leverage the power of Nat Geo's media portfolio around the world; and the expertise of its explorers and scientists, who are witnessing firsthand the devastating impacts of this crisis. This organization-wide effort will include a major research and scientific initiative; a consumer education and engagement campaign; updated internal corporate sustainability commitments; and innovative partnerships with like-minded corporations and NGOs from all over the world.
"For 130 years, National Geographic has documented the stories of our planet, providing audiences around the world with a window into the earth's breathtaking beauty as well as to the threats it faces," said Gary E. Knell, CEO of National Geographic Partners. "Every day, our explorers, researchers and photographers in the field witness firsthand the devastating impact of single-use plastic on our oceans, and the situation is becoming increasingly dire. Through the Planet or Plastic? initiative, we will share the stories of this growing crisis, work to address it through the latest science and research, and educate audiences around the world about how to eliminate single-use plastics."
The launch is tied to the release of the June issue of National Geographic magazine, which takes an in-depth look at the role single-use plastics play in our society and the impact they are having on our environment. Starting with this issue, National Geographic announced that it will begin wrapping the US, UK and India subscriber editions of the magazine in paper instead of plastic, with the goal of wrapping all global editions in paper by the end of 2019. The June issue is available online on May 16 and on print newsstands on May 29.
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In concert with the release of the June magazine, the Planet or Plastic? initiative will also kick off with the following:
The efforts announced this week are just the beginning of this multiyear initiative. Next month, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in New York City's Times Square — an immersive adventure across the ocean from the South Pacific to the coast of California — will highlight the initiative during World Oceans Day on June 8. Nat Geo Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle will also be in New York City for the festivities to raise awareness about the damaging impact of plastic pollution in our world's fragile oceans. And on June 15, National Geographic will host a "Party for the Planet" as part of its annual Explorers Festival in Washington, D.C., a night dedicated to the elimination of single-use plastic.
Stay up to date on Planet or Plastic? and join the conversation on social via #planetorplastic.