Vancouver – Ocean Legacy Foundation (“OLF”), a Canadian non-profit organization that develops and implements worldwide plastic pollution emergency response programs, with the goal to end plastic pollution, today announced a new partnership with TELUS that will assist in providing global awareness to OLF’s EPIC Plastic Pollution Emergency Response™ program (“EPIC”), and increase enrollment in OLF’s EPIC Academy.

Ocean plastic pollution causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every single year. The OLF and TELUS partnership will help bring awareness to this global issue and the importance of ending ocean plastic waste. EPIC Academy is a free online educational platform that provides individuals, businesses, and organizations with essential knowledge regarding ocean plastic pollution, cleanup efforts, and solutions for creating plastic-free lands and waters. TELUS is sponsoring the on-going effort to promote the 10-part online curriculum series that focuses on teaching people about the issues surrounding ocean plastic pollution. The curriculum ranges from beginner to advanced and can be accessed online in three languages.

EPIC Academy is part of the OLF’s EPIC Plastic Pollution Emergency Response™ program, which takes a four-pillar approach to identify, cleanup, and prevent plastic waste from entering tributary and marine ecosystems. The four pillars are Education & Research, Policy & Advocacy, Infrastructure Development, and Cleanup & Restoration. The purpose of EPIC is to create an accessible platform to assist with the restoration of critical natural ecosystems for improved human and wildlife health, as well as assess and develop long-term plastic collection, processing infrastructure and policy to mitigate oceanic plastic pollution sources.

“The Ocean Legacy Foundation believes worldwide change occurs with dedicated and well-informed individual, government, and corporate action. When we all understand the problem and potential solutions, that knowledge combined with action will help drive the innovation and changes needed to combat the global plastic pollution crisis. We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with TELUS, and with their help we are excited to globally advance our EPIC Academy curriculum,” said Chloé Dubois, Executive Director and co-founder of OLF. “EPIC Academy students gain practical tools and knowledge that have been developed by experienced and leading experts in the field of plastic pollution. Currently over 200 individual learners have registered in EPIC Academy, and approximately 40 schools are using EPIC Academy’s learning material in their classrooms.”

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EPIC Academy aims to provide individuals, businesses and organizations interested in learning more about ocean plastic pollution with an easily accessible and free resource to start their learning journey, with the goal of building a global community working together to advance plastic pollution cleanup efforts, evidence-based policy expansion and infrastructure development to better manage plastic resources.

“At TELUS, we are committed to driving positive social outcomes and helping to ensure stronger and healthier communities, while caring for our environment,” said Geoff Pegg, Head of Sustainability at TELUS. “We’re proud to partner with the Ocean Legacy Foundation to expand enrollment in the EPIC Academy over the next 12 months to help teach people about the issues surrounding plastic pollution and how communities can create plastic-free oceans. Ocean plastic pollution is an extremely important global topic that needs awareness, education, and solutions, and one that TELUS cares very deeply about. EPIC Academy is certainly a significant step in the right direction.”

EPIC Academy’s free e-learning Plastic Pollution Emergency Response™ education curriculum moves students from beginner to advanced levels and is suitable for ages 14 and up. It includes 10 online lessons pertaining to ocean and land-based plastic pollution, the environmental impact of plastic pollution, and how different communities across the globe can take action managing plastic waste and solving the ocean plastic pollution crisis. The curriculum can be accessed in English, French and Spanish. Each of the 10 lessons takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. Level 1 is targeted towards the individual learner and includes special guidance for high school teachers (i.e., classroom guides and assignments) to help them lead their students through the lessons. Level 2 is targeted towards individuals and organizations, especially local leaders and waste management and recycling professionals, who are concerned about plastic pollution and want to learn how to take action to stem the flow of plastics into the environment. Once participants have completed each lesson, they receive an EPIC Academy digital badge that can be shared on social media. At the completion of Level 1 and completion of Level 2 they receive an EPIC Academy Certificate of Completion.

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Plastic debris can be found on every beach in the world and recent studies have found that marine plastic pollution have been ingested by 100 per cent of marine turtles, 59 per cent of whales, 36 per cent of seals and 40 per cent of seabird species examined. Plastics have also been found in drinking water, beer, seafood, table salt, and in the human body.

Help be part of the solution to end ocean plastic waste by checking out the EPIC Academy curriculum at https://edu.oceanlegacy.ca.

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