After the interview of Anne-Cécile Turner released yesterday, we are continuing our journey to meet another one of the 3 women involved in preventing ocean plastic pollution, whom we have interviewed to celebrate World Oceans Day 2019.
Our invitee of today is Marion Cabridens, who is in charge of fund raising for Surfrider Foundation Europe.
Marion, the floor is yours!
Could you briefly present yourself? How does your job allow you to contribute to protecting the ocean?
My name is Marion Cabridens, I am from the Basque coast in France. I have been engaged in social and environmental projects for fifteen years. The ocean is a way of life for me, it’s a source of energy, of great joys, a playground … I am eager to commit to protecting this environment.
I am in charge of fund raising for Surfrider Foundation Europe. My responsibility is to raise funds to finance our projects. I am not directly contributing to protect the ocean but rather facilitating the implementation of projects that will do so. This is a fantastic job, that links passion, engagement, perseverance and human skills above all!
Which concrete solutions does your organization implement to solve the plastic pollution challenge?
Surfrider Foundation Europe is an NGO dedicated to ocean protection. We have been fighting against plastic pollution for more than 25 years. Our objective is to prevent pollution at its source, and we are acting through various levers: awareness campaigns, mobilization of our network of volunteers, beach clean-ups, participatory science projects to collect data on the types of pollution sources and act accordingly, scientific projects on rivers, lobbying at the industrial and regulatory levels, …
For instance, Surfrider strongly contributed to the EU Strategy on single-use plastics to forbid or regulate all sorts of plastic products that we find in rivers and oceans (bottles, straws, cotton swabs, plastic cutlery, food and beverage packaging, …).
We are in fact launching this year a major campaign for a zero-plastic ocean. The campaign’s objective is twofold: on the one hand, continue our engagement to end single-use plastic when sustainable alternatives do exist; on the other hand, be a whistleblower to raise awareness on the issue of micro-plastics, that is an invisible source of pollution but a major issue for the environment and human health.
What would be, in your opinion, the solutions to implement in the near future to solve the issue at the pace and scale it requires?
Honestly, at the pace and the scale required, the solution is to refuse single-use plastics when alternatives exist. This is simply common sense: use a cloth bag, a reusable water bottle, a mug, consume products in bulk and produced locally, … But responsibility is not to be borne by consumers only. It is essential to engage everybody, citizens, institutions to adopt the right kind of regulations, companies to innovate responsibly by developing environmentally friendly products (from product design to products use and end of life).
In fact, we have to change our societal model to place human beings, environment, collective intelligence at the center of the system.
Marion Cabridens is fundraising manager @Surfrider Foundation Europe.