Coca-Cola Foundation & Benioff Ocean Initiative Announce USD 11 Million Funding to Clean Up Rivers

Written by Josefine Fokuhl


January 15, 2020


The Benioff Ocean Initiative and The Coca-Cola Foundation, which is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), announced today USD 11 million in funding to nine river clean-up programs around the world in the next three years, as a unique partnership at the University of California Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute. 

The cooperation between the Benioff Ocean Initiative and The Coca-Cola Foundation merges Coca-Cola’s commitment to support behavioral-change projects regarding recycling and the Benioff Ocean Initiative’s knowledge in developing brand new ways to collect waste from rivers and oceans, analyze it and further use results to fight the plastic crisis.

Helen Smith Price, President of The Coca-Cola Company said:

The Coca-Cola Foundation is delighted to partner with the Benioff Ocean Initiative and co-fund nine river clean-up programs. This is an important global partnership for a truly global challenge – cleaning up some of the world’s most polluted rivers and identifying new ways to prevent plastic waste from entering our rivers and oceans.”

The selected programs for the funding are spread over four continents: Asia, Africa, North America and South America.

“The World Without Waste strategy of The Coca-Cola Company and The Foundation’s focus on recycling and behavioral-change projects highlight the need for greater collaboration between business, governments, charitable organizations, researchers and NGOs to make this happen,”

added Helen Smith Prince. 

 The first to be awarded funding is the Marea Verde project in Panama, while other programs in Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Ecuador, Mexico, Thailand, Jamaica and Kenya are planned to follow.

“We are definitely excited about getting this plastic waste out of our rivers and oceans, but we are also excited to turn this plastic waste into data that can help us turn off the tap of this waste in the first place,”

 stated Dr. McCauley, Professor at UC Santa Barbara and Director of the Benioff Ocean Initiative.

The Coca-Cola Foundation has granted more than USD 1 billion since it was founded in 1984. The Foundations priority areas include empowering women, protecting the environment and enhancing communities. 

Based in the UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Center Institute, the Benioff Ocean Initiative combines science and technology to improve ocean health.

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