International beach apparel brand Reef pledges to make sure beaches stay clean and healthy.\
To achieve this, Reef is targeting to accomplish 1,500 beach cleanups, remove 150,000 lbs. of trash, and engage 30,000 volunteers around the world this year, in the hopes that their industry and communities play an equally big role in enacting meaningful change for the planet.
Globally, the brand has partnered with Surfrider and has, as of this writing, cleaned up 840 beaches and collected 206,871 lbs. of trash, which is beyond the target mentioned, with the help of 30,654 volunteers.
In the Philippines, Reef hosted its annual Free the Sea Movement, a fun-filled three-day event and coastal clean-up that aims to promote responsible travel and environmental conservation.
Now on its third year, Reef’s Free the Sea Movement in San Juan, La Union was created in partnership with WWF-Philippines and intended to encourage people to live a sustainable lifestyle by not using single-use plastics that are harmful to the environment, specifically oceans.
One hundred volunteers participated in the clean-up during the Free the Sea Movement 3. The event also included Plastic Solutions’ talk on eco-brick making. Reef is also part of WWF-Philippines’ Ayoko ng Plastic campaign, which seeks to lessen, and eventually eliminate single-use plastics within the country by raising public awareness of the issue of plastic pollution.
Single-use plastics are among the biggest pollutants found in our oceans today. In 2016, plastic production amounted to as much as 335 million metric tons, approximately half of that amount used for single-use purposes. A whopping 32 percent of plastic packaging are being left to the environs, with 8 million tons winding up in the ocean each year.
The event also included free surfing clinics for the volunteers and a fun Music Festival Night graced by bands including Orange & Lemons, G2 & the Bundocks, Coeli, The Geeks PH, Rusty Machines, Eazyhead, We are Imaginary, and Cheats.
Aside from mounting coastal clean-ups, Reef is also committed to supporting environmental programs of local communities. Recently, the brand donated cash and goods to the La Union Surfers Club to support the organization’s environmental efforts in the area.
“A lot of our programs next year will be geared towards encouraging people to live a sustainable lifestyle,” says Reef Philippine marketing head Marnelli Gaerlan. “Most of our products are now PVC-free and we even have sandals enhanced with Eco One which makes them 100 percent biodegradable.”
Eco-One is an organic additive that enhances the biodegradation process through a series of chemical and biological processes when disposed in a biologically active landfill. A normal plastic bag could take hundreds of years to break down, but with Eco-One, the material will biodegrade over a shorter period of time.