(An experiment from the May workshop developed further as A Sea Change)

The hypothesis to be tested: London can become single-use plastic bottle free by ~2016. A successful strategy can be replicated in 10 other cities over the following years.

Can we create common messages around plastics?

  • Compiling case studies
  • (Story map on plastics)
  • Engaging cultural initiatives as ambassadors
  • Is there a science and an economic case to be made?
  • What stakeholder groups do we have access to? What do they think? Where are our champions?

What do we want to achieve?

  • A single-use plastic water bottle free London by end 2016
  • Replicated by 10 major cities by 2020 OR by different stakeholder groups - e.g. retail, universities, tourism, shipping)

By July 8th:

  1. Answer the following questions:
    • What is the science case that connects to oceans?
    • What messages do we agree on around plastic pollution and what are we asking the public to do?
    • What is the economic case?
    • What legal frameworks support this? unreadable
  2. Event organised at Selfridges to discuss the issues
    • What stakeholder groups could we influence?
    • Who are the actors in this space? Document current leaders (geographically, eg. Cabo Verde)

Plastic pollution pre-enactment


Stakeholder reactions:

  • The business person (Aniol in character) was worrying too much about what his role might be, whether he was 'good' or 'bad', which gives insight into potential internal conflicts that happen with business people everywhere: there are no black-and-white people, but many shades of grey…
  • Stronger economics arguments are required
  • Single issue initiatives, such as “No single-use plastic bottles in London”, can be very engaging, but still this one still feels a bit 'niche' and too local - how does it link up with ’systems change'? It’s a small issue with a very complex process.
  • What sectors have been identified (e.g. supply chain, retail, disposal…)? What others are important?
  • How does the initiative link to the bigger picture? What wider changes would be visible?
  • Could this experiment be seen as a beachhead for other initiatives? What follows? Which support actions would be necessary to engage different sectors? Could this become a platform for radical innovation (e.g use of biotech)?
  • Is this an example of something that could be replicated (lessons to be learned from San Francisco?)? Is replication to other cities the best way to go? Would replication be better across different sectors? where are the points of leverage?
  • How could this be a platform for 'radical innovation'? Avoiding consumer backlash?
  • Can the Selfridges event be a feasibility test and demonstration, that could lead to new policy opportunities?
  • Prioritise influence and impact in finding those who will benefit form disruptive change, rather than working more extensively with those who may 'lose out' from change. Map your stakeholders in “circles of influence”.
  • You have to think of the format of the event from the point of view of different stakeholders. In the pre-enactment I did not feel heard, just flattered and ignored. You must think more about the dynamics of the situation and try to put yourself in the shoes of your stakeholders. Learn to ask questions and listen more.


What’s the experiment?
It’s a feasibility study on how to make London single-use plastic water bottle free by date X, or identify another more relevant plastic pollution issue to tackle. There will be a Marine CoLAB event. Plastic pollution is a crowded space. The experiment aims to determine what Marine CoLAB could add.

How would you know it worked?
The experiment is meant to determine if there is or isn't traction for the issue. If there isn’t, topic might be changed.

Actions by July
  1. Who are the actors in the space? HJK circulates list and AP to add London connections (and the whole Marine CoLAB to input
    1. Conference call to Mirella and Sue (this week)
  2. Develop codes and key messages on plastic pollution (check Marine action network). FCI/MCS
  3. Establish how much of an issue plastic bottles are on ocean (ZSL?FFI?MCS?AP)
  4. Research any existing economic arguments on plastic water bottles (Aniol?)
  5. Compile existing legislation and policy (WFO, Marine Litter Consultation, AP/SL, Mirella, Andrew)
  6. Organise event at Selfridges - Thursday May 14th conference call: Question - ideal attendees. Design: all
  7. Stakeholder mapping and thought leader documentation at Lisbon meetings (SL/Aniol/HJK, Louisa)
  8. Stakeholder opinions with existing contacts (Ecover, Arts, UCL, Sustainable Food City, ALVA, Southbank unreadable Space unreadable
  • Blue Business Plasticity Forum in June 2015
  • Project Ocean 9th July - 15th August
  • Totally Thames: Month long festival in September 2015

(other unreadable postits)

  • From Aniol: share knowledge and research on economic arguments around single use plastic bottles
  • From Andrew, Sandy, Mirella: Compile existing legislation policy (gaps and opportunities)
  • From MCS: key messages/codes on plastic pollution
  • From everyone: review list of actors working in water bottle space. ID any gaps
  • From everyone: Feed into the Selfridges event planning
  • From Mirella and Sue: update call asap
Documentation and communication
  • Calls for updates and sharing (skype?)
  • Email communication
  • Sharing documents on Google docs and/or the wiki
  • Events in Lisbon (Plasticity forum)



larger image on flickr

  • Marine Litter Action Network: a kickstart to finding lasting solutions on ocean rubbish. (…) The Marine Litter Action Network will meet throughout the next year before publishing its solutions in June 2015.
  • http://theplastiki.com/Plastiki and My Plastiki: “You might have read that constructing a boat with 12,500 plastic bottles wasn’t an easy task. But you don’t have to build a plastic catamaran to make a difference. We’re looking for dreamers, curious types, storytellers, rebels and most important you! Just let your inner change maker break through, click your mouse, and pledge to better our oceans and planet.”

Expected results

Observered results

  • marine_colab/plastic_pollution_experiment.txt
  • Last modified: 2020-06-05 22:29
  • by nik