HONG KONG, FEBRUARY 20, 2019 – In April 2019, National Geographic will push forward its commitment to the environment by celebrating Earth Day with its yearly Earth Day Run. This year’s run will be in the theme of Planet or Plastic? – a multiyear initiative from National Geographic, aimed at raising awareness of plastic pollution and reducing the amount of single-use plastic that enters in the world’s oceans.
Each year 9 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean, and Asia is responsible for more plastic waste leakage than the rest of the world combined. Some estimates suggest this plastic could remain in marine environments for 450 years or longer, and the problem is only getting worse. Addressing a challenge of this magnitude requires an unprecedented approach – leading National Geographic to launch its Planet or Plastic? global commitment to tackle this pressing problem.
The ultimate goal of the Planet or Plastic? campaign is to prevent 1 billion plastic items from reaching the ocean. Doing so will not only benefit the thousands to potentially millions of marine animals that become entangled in, suffocated by, or ingest plastic each year, but will also contribute to the overall health of the planet’s marine ecosystems and all who rely upon them.
National Geographic’s Earth Day Run 2019 will be a powerful platform to share the Planet or Plastic? campaign with even more people. Runners and event-goers at associated National Geographic Earth Day activities will be encouraged to take the pledge to reduce their use of single-use plastic. No single-use plastics will be allowed at the event, as all runners are encouraged to use reusable water bottles
Keertan Adyanthaya, Executive Vice President, Content & Communications, FOX Networks Group Asia said, “As part of Planet or Plastic? and in celebration of Earth Day, we’re asking runners in Asia to choose the planet. As a global movement dedicated to raising awareness of pollution, Earth Day is the perfect moment to bring environmental issues around climate change, plastic pollution and the health of marine life into the spotlight. Raising awareness of these critical issues through events such as the National Geographic Earth Day Run is key to kick-starting lasting change across the region.”
People in Asia can get involved by joining an Earth Day Run and taking the Planet or Plastic? pledge – a commitment to reduce your use of single-use plastic. By taking the pledge, individuals will become part of a global community working together to stem the tide of single-use plastic polluting the ocean and will continue to receive information and tips to help them in their efforts. The pledge is particularly important in Asia, where just five countries are the source of 55-60% of the plastic that ends up in the world’s oceans, according to Ocean Conservancy.
Apart from the Earth Day Run and the pledge, the Planet or Plastic? campaign comprises a number of actions leveraging the power of National Geographic’s media portfolio and expansive network. The organization-wide effort – being executed across multiple platforms in the months and years to come – will include major research and scientific initiatives; consumer education and engagement; updated internal corporate sustainability commitments; and innovative partnerships with like-minded corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all over the world.
To get involved with Earth Day Run 2019, visit www.natgeoearthdayrun.com. You can also head to www.natgeo.com/plasticpledge to learn more about the Planet or Plastic? campaign and take your pledge to choose the planet.