Ocean Health and preventing plastic pollution

Ocean Plastic Pollution

Did you know that eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year? That’s a whole garbage truck per minute – and 80 per cent of that comes from land-based sources. It means that if no action is taken, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

As ocean racers, all those involved in the Volvo Ocean Race recognise the critical environmental challenge facing us. That's why the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 Sustainability Programme centres on Ocean Health with a focus on plastic pollution.

With the race’s global platform we have a unique opportunity and clear responsibility to fight for this urgent issue. We want to play our part in a cleaner future for our oceans.

© IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race

We want to create awareness, activate discussion, highlight local relevancy and put out a call to action to businesses, governments and individuals to play their part in turning the tide on plastic.

Our Sustainability Programme

In developing our Sustainability Programme we have identified three clear directives:

Maximise IMPACT | Minimise FOOTPRINT | Leave a positive LEGACY

View our Sustainability Strategy.

Ocean Summit

During the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race a series of seven Ocean Summits will be organised around the world as a key part of our sustainability programme.

Our Ocean Summits will gather the best minds from the worlds of sport, business, local government and science to bring about real action on ocean health, with a focus on plastic pollution.

Ocean Summit Alicante - 18th October 2017: a lot of comitments for the first event of the series!

The first Ocean Summit of the series that was hold in Alicante on the 18th October sees Spanish government make the Clean Seas pledge and the mayor of Alicante Gabriel Echávarri promised that there would be no plastic bottles at any event he attends in an official capacity. He also announced an education campaign on plastic in all schools in the city (find out more). 

Click here to find the highlights of the day in video.
Click here to find the agenda of the day.

Ocean Summit Cape town - 7th and 8th December 2017

Nedbank Auditorium
Clock Tower Precinct, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Clich here to find the agenda of the day.

Next Ocean Summits:
Hong Kong - 22nd January 2018
Newport - 18th May 2018
Cardiff - 5th June 2018
Gothenburg - 18th June 2018
The Hague - 27th and 28th June 2018

If you are from government, the private sector or an organisation working on ocean health and plastic pollution, and wish to participate please email to apply for a seat to your closest Ocean Summit: The number of places are limited, so please get in touch as soon as possible.



We know that the future of our ocean's health is in young people's hands. We invite schools and families to our Race Villages to learn what they can do to help. Click here to know more about our Sustainability Education Programme online.