In a new effort to hold companies accountable for ubiquitous plastic pollution, The Story of Stuff Project is announcing the launch of the first-ever brand audit clean-ups to collect plastic waste in coastal and inland communities across the country and identify the companies behind that trash. The Story of Stuff Project hopes that this new approach will end the cycle of regular waste clean-ups and begin to tackle the issue of plastic pollution at its source.

In a week of events happening around the world, Story of Stuff volunteers and members of the #breakfreefromplastic movement in over 75 cities and towns will team up to clean beaches, riverfronts and parks and determine the unique sources of local plastic pollution. The data they generate will be compiled at both the local and global level, identifying which products and companies are most responsible for plastic pollution. Results of the global survey will be released in early October.

“Every year, thousands of people get together to clean up the waste that washes onto beaches around the world – but more plastic always reappears. To break the cycle of plastic pollution, we need to do things differently,” explained Stiv Wilson, Campaigns Director for The Story of Stuff Project. “This year, we’re not just cleaning up trash – we’re collecting data that will illuminate the most problematic brands in the environment and help us bring accountability to the companies that bear ultimate responsibility for the plastic pollution crisis.”

“Corporations cannot greenwash their role out of the plastic pollution crisis and put the blame on people, all the time. Our brand audits make it clear which companies are primarily responsible for the proliferation of throwaway plastic waste that’s defiling nature and killing our oceans. These events provide undeniable evidence of this truth,” added Von Hernandez, global coordinator, #breakfreefromplastic.

The Story of Stuff Project is working with other #breakfreefromplastic movement partners organizing brand audits all over the world including Greenpeace, 5 Gyres, Let’s Do It World, Mother Earth Foundation, Global Alliance For Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Health Care Without Harm, and Surfrider Foundation on a broader brand audit dataset to map brand plastic pollution across the world.

For more information, visit