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Committed to Cleaner Oceans

In honor of World Cleanup Day, Clif Bar is excited to join Surfrider in raising awareness and taking action on the issue of plastic waste and pollution. Together, we’re reaching out to our collective communities to encourage and inspire people to join the global clean up movement and help prevent plastic from entering our ocean and waterways.

At Clif Bar, we want to be a part of the solution and recognize the responsibility to address our own use of plastic packaging. That’s why we recently committed to making 100% of our packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. We’re also taking this commitment one step further and working to prevent and remove up to one million pounds of plastic waste from the environment by 2025.

We know we can’t tackle this issue without being part of a broader movement and key partners like the Surfrider Foundation, a leading organization working on the prevention and removal of plastic pollution through education for action, citizen science, and impactful campaigns.

World Cleanup Day volunteer picking up trash on the beach

Photo by Aaron Lieber

Just how big is our plastic pollution crisis?

Each year, an estimated 8.75 million metric tons (9.65 million tons) of plastic enter our ocean from land-based sources1, and the problem doesn’t end there. Once plastic enters the marine environment, it does not biodegrade in our lifetime, but instead breaks into tiny fragments called microplastics, crippling marine ecosystems, disrupting the food chain2, and accelerating climate change3 throughout its life cycle. Microplastic particles have been found in the deepest parts of the ocean, in both bottled and tap water, and even in the air we breathe4.

Scientists have also found that up to 80% of marine litter is plastic5, and up to 80% of the plastic in our ocean comes from land-based sources6. While beach litter is certainly a contributor to ocean pollution, much of the trash and broken-down bits of plastic on our beaches have been washed there from upstream sources, often through rivers and storm drains. Regardless of where you live in the world, you live in a watershed, which means your choices have the power to impact not only your immediate environment, but all of the waterways and ecosystems downstream.

Surfrider and Clif Bar

Surfrider is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches, for all people, through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984, Surfrider maintains over one million supporters, activists and members, with more than 170 volunteer-led chapters and student clubs in the United States. Clif Bar has supported Surfrider’s mission since 2014, in which time the organization has removed over 650,000 pounds of plastic and other trash at beach cleanups. As part of a multi-pronged approach to eliminating plastic pollution, data collected by volunteers at Surfrider cleanups is then used to help inform policy and legislation to reduce ocean pollution from the source, from local communities to the federal level.

Photo by Aaron Lieber

The Better Beach Alliance

In 2018, the Better Beach Alliance was founded to expand and amplify the impacts of Surfrider’s Beach Cleanup program, and ultimately increase the amount of trash removed, volunteers engaged, and cleanups hosted each year. By bringing together businesses, communities, and individuals, the Better Beach Alliance empowers each to play a critical role in enacting meaningful change for our planet. As a proud partner of the Better Beach Alliance, Clif Bar invites you to join us in protecting the wild places we all love, which need us now more than ever.

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, a swell in reliance on single-use plastics has followed. Increased litter—including single-use gloves, masks and takeout containers—is being found on beaches throughout the country by Surfrider volunteers.

That’s why this year, we invite you to join the Better Beach Alliance in keeping plastic and other trash from polluting our waterways from right where you are, wherever that may be. To help you safely clean a beach, lake, park, or waterway near you, check out these guidelines for holding a solo cleanup. Then visit Surfrider's Beach Cleanup Activist Guide to download a data card to record your findings, and report your data to the Surfrider Foundation to have your work counted toward our collective Better Beach Alliance goals.

Surfrider 2019 Program Results

Together, we can make a difference.

Other ways to join the Better Beach Alliance

  1. Join the movement by becoming a Surfrider member.
  2. Find your local chapter or student club to stay up-to-date on the latest Surfrider happenings in your community.
  3. Sign a Take Action Alert right from your computer to contact your representatives and make your voice heard on coastal issues.
  4. Subscribe to Surfrider’s bi-weekly newsletter, Making Waves.
  5. Start a fundraiser through Surfrider’s activist fundraising portal, or through Facebook or Instagram fundraising tools.
  6. Take a deeper dive into the data collected by Surfrider volunteers at beach cleanups in 2019 by checking out the 2019 Beach Cleanup Report.