Q2 2022

28 APAC / Issue Q2 2022 , Ocean Purpose Project burst onto the scene in 2020, armed with a deep-rooted passion and a burning desire to change the world. Sustainability lies at the heart of the company – be it through the development of bioplastics or major clean-up projects, Ocean Purpose Project promotes green living and, ultimately, a greater awareness of humanities impact on the ocean. Mathilda D’Silva launched Ocean Purpose Project in 2020 after an extensive career in the entertainment and journalism world. Indeed, Mathilda worked as a broadcast and print journalist for over a decade and served as a well-known face in the Singaporean entertainment industry, cutting her teeth as an actor, singer, comedian, and performer. In addition, she is a highly-qualified community management coach and specialist, and an avid promoter of water sports, acting as a dragonboat newbies instructor. Henceforth, D’Silva opted to undertake an enormous transition when she delved into social media community management and sustainability advocacy, and, in turn, when she created the Ocean Purpose Project. After a water pollution incident left D’Silva with severe autoimmune issues, she decided to channel her passions into building a platform that tackles such concerns. Ocean Purpose Project arose with the goal to identify measures to ensure that coastal communities across Asia have the facilities to develop and instil pollution-reduction solutions. Moreover, it truly hopes to create a movement – one that upholds ocean conservation measures and works to reduce plastic waste on a large scale. Stemming from Pasir Ris, Singapore – D’Silva’s hometown – Ocean Purpose Project has reached international levels of success, reaching communities across the continent. The organisation has designed numerous projects, each, of course, with the mission to aid sustainability and ocean conservation. For example, Ocean Purpose Project has conducted a great amount of work surrounding bioremediation and bioplastics. The organisation states that ‘bioremediation is the process of decontamination using living biota, in this case, naturally growing seaweed and mussels.’ Ocean Purpose Project created such filters through deploying ropes around the perimeter of a local fish farm that wanted to protect its stock. This then allowed seaweed and mussels to attach to the ropes, resulting in a curtain of natural filters. Mussels and seaweed play an important role within the development of bioplastics, which is currently one of the only forms of entirely biodegradable plastics. According to National Geographic, approximately 18 billion pounds of plastic is dumped into the oceans each year. Plastic, as cited in a study by the United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution, accounts for 60 to 95% of water pollutants. Therefore, bioplastics offer a ground-breaking solution to the ongoing mass-pollution issue. It is known that seaweeds produce a bio-plastic polymer, Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), which is commonly found within plastic. As seaweed can be found on a global scale, this readily available resource has the ability to change not only an entire industry, but the world. Whilst the company has faced a plethora of challenges over the past couple of years – namely due to its founding in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic – it has also been awarded great success. Ocean Purpose Project represented Singapore as the global finalist in the European Union’s Climate Launchpad programme, was the EPPICC UNDP finalist for United Nations Indonesia, and is the first social enterprise to be accepted into the Shell Start-Up Engine for its OPP Plastic to Fuel unit. Furthermore, Project White Sands was chosen as one of only 37 projects to receive funding from the SG Eco Fund’s inaugural grant in 2021. Contact: Mathilda D’Silva Company: Ocean Purpose Project Web Address: www.oceanpurposeproject.com Most Pioneering Ocean Plastic Mitigation Initiative 2022 Mar22178