How Emily Penn got to founding Ocean Plastics

Emily Penn is an international public speaker and advisor on issues relating to our oceans. She has worked with Sky TV as an ambassador, has shared her research with Prince Charles at the Waste to Wealth Summit in 2018 and travels the world each year with a group of women to study and find solutions for the worsening problem of plastic in our waters.

Penn started her journey in 2008 when she was on her way to take up her first job after University. She didn’t want to travel by plane because of the impact on the planet, so she took a job on a bio-fuelled boat after arriving in Shanghai from a 3 month train journey.

It was during her time sailing  that she became aware of the huge mess of plastic pollution and decided to devote her time to doing something about it.

“Our seas demonstrate how much plastic the western world throws away and I fully acknowledged that as a young woman on the way to my first job. A lot of poorer countries on the other hand are more in touch with nature because they’re surrounded by it and they lack major recycling schemes, so they’re forced to reuse what little they have.

I’ve built a following by telling my story to a whole range of people, from school children to politicians on a global stage. I’ve found that once people learn about the problem through my experiences, they want to do more to make a positive impact themselves”, expresses Penn.

It is hard to estimate the amount of plastic that enters the sea each year, but there is enough to know that the non-biodegradable material should be banned altogether.

Kenya took the lead in August 2017 by banning the usage, production and selling of plastic bags. The material may be convenient and cost-effective for businesses, but our habitat and health cannot be compromised.

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