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Approximately nine million tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean each year, threatening our ecosystems, wildlife and human health. By mobilizing global communities and investing in science, exploration, innovation and education, the National Geographic Society is working to tackle the world’s plastic waste crisis.

Sea to Source:
Ganges Expedition Map

An international, female-led team of scientists will embark on a river expedition to better understand and document how plastic waste travels from source to sea and to fill critical knowledge gaps. Follow along below and learn more about the team here.



Science, Innovation, Education


Through solutions-focused grants, National Geographic is supporting individuals working to reduce plastic pollution at the source, both by reducing individual plastic consumption and reducing the flow of plastics into watersheds.


National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures are asking problem solvers from around the globe to create innovative solutions to the plastic waste crisis and compete for a share of $1.5 million in awards and investment.


National Geographic is committed to empowering the next generation of planetary stewards through its robust education offerings, including classroom resources to teach about ocean plastic and how students can be part of the solution for plastic pollution.

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Learn how you can help be a part of the solution for plastic pollution. Get updates from our Explorers in the field who are working to save wildlife and wild places, and learn about all our work to explore and protect the planet.

Top photo by John Stanmeyer, Global Challenge photo by Jordi Chias, furthering science photo by gregg treinish; ADVANCING INNOVATION photo by sirtravelalot/Shutterstock; elevating education photo by south agency, getty images; Meet the Expedition Team photo by Bhumesh Bharti, Meet the Finalists Photograph by Mohamed Abdulraheem, Identifying solutions photo by Rich Carey; GET INVOLVED PHOTO by Randy olson, Planet or Plastic? photo by Randy Olson, HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE PHOTO BY Jenna Jambeck.