UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and The Ocean Cleanup founder & CEO Boyan Slat sign the Memorandum of Understanding at UN Headquarters in New York.
Press release

UNDP and The Ocean Cleanup Team up to Tackle Plastic Pollution

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February 9, 2023, New York, NY – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The Ocean Cleanup today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on eliminating plastic pollution in oceans and rivers around the globe.

The goal of the partnership is to reduce leakages of plastics into marine ecosystems by boosting policies and behavior change aimed at advancing sound plastic waste management systems and reducing overall plastic pollution, and accelerating the deployment of interception technologies in rivers to end marine plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution poses an existential threat to the health of the world’s oceans and the billions of people who depend on marine resources for food and income. Partnerships play a critical role in addressing this complex global challenge.

“Eliminating plastic pollution in all its forms is key to protecting human and planetary health and safeguarding sustainable development,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. “This alliance is an important step to curb the flow of plastic pollution into oceans and rivers but also to raise awareness, support sound policy making, and trigger behavioral change along the entire plastic value chain.”

“After our valuable experience working with local UNDP teams to tackle riverine plastic pollution in the Dominican Republic, we are excited to partner with UNDP to further promote sustainable ocean health,” said The Ocean Cleanup founder and CEO Boyan Slat. “We believe that, through this alliance, we can help accelerate the deployment of our technologies to eliminate plastics from the oceans and rivers, as well as support broader policies aimed at waste management and reducing plastic pollution.”

This new partnership comes at a critical time as negotiations for an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, are taking shape.

UNDP representative Inka Mattila and Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Boyan Slat in Dominican Republic
Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup and Inka Mattila, Resident Representative UNDP Dominican Republic visiting The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor 004 in Rio Ozama, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Photo: The Ocean Cleanup, 2021


You can find some images of the Interceptor in the Dominican Republic in this media gallery. You can find more images about The Ocean Cleanup in our general media gallery.

Header image photo credit: United Nations Development Programme | Fouad Juez


The Ocean Cleanup:

CFF Communications, Amsterdam
Niels Broekhof
E: press@theoceancleanup.com
T: +31 (0)6 30 37 49 30

U.S. Media Representative, San Francisco
Alan Dunton
E: adunton@shiftcomm.com
T: +1 415-290-8219


Dylan Lowthian
Head, Media Relations
+1 (646) 673 6350

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP.

The Ocean Cleanup is an international nonprofit project that develops and scales technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. They aim to achieve this goal by taking a two-pronged approach: stemming the inflow via rivers and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup develops large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic is tracked and traced through DNV’s chain of custody model to certify claims of origin when recycling it into new products. To close the tap in rivers, The Ocean Cleanup has developed a portfolio of Interceptor™ Solutions to halt and extract riverine plastic before it reaches the ocean. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs a broadly multi-disciplined team of approximately 140. The foundation is based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

For more information, visit: theoceancleanup.com and follow @theoceancleanup on social media.