Holy mackerel! Over 111 million people have been exposed to ASA’s Plastic Pollution Purge Program - learn more...


Plastic pollution is choking our oceans, trickling into our local rivers, lakes and streams, poisoning wildlife — and all of us. The United Nations estimates that by the year 2050, we will have more plastic debris in our oceans than fish. The restaurant industry and the European Union is fighting back by starting to ban plastic straws. And now the sailing industry is joining in the fight.
To help clean up our waterways, the American Sailing Association, the world’s largest sailing organization and America’s sail education authority, announces a new crusade...
Operation “Plastic Pollution Purge”
Bring Back More Plastic Than You Take

“Plastic Pollution is a People Problem!”

Plastic pollution is not an ocean, river, lake or stream problem, it’s a people problem. We must do our part to discourage everyone from trashing our waterways with plastic bottles, bags, cups, utensils and plates,” says Lenny Shabes, CEO and founder of the American Sailing Association. “Starting now, we want everyone out on a boat to clean up trash wherever and whenever they see it. If we all do our part, we can make a difference by raising awareness to help stop this tidal wave of plastic threatening all of us.

Throughout the summer, every time boaters set sail, we ask them to bring a trash bag onboard and pick up any garbage they see, whether it’s on the water's edge or in the water.

Participants are encouraged to post photos of picking up trash to social media


In The Press

Over 111 million people have been exposed to ASA’s Plastic Pollution Purge Program. Never before have we had exposure on this scale. This is truly big! Huge even! Local news stations in the following cities have all produced pieces on the Plastic Pollution Purge Program, each one featuring an on-air local ASA Affiliate representative

Augusta, GA | Boston, MA | Brunswick, GA | Charleston, SC | Charlotte, NC | Chicago, IL | Columbia, SC | Danbury, CT | Denver, CO | Detroit, MI | Naples/Ft. Myers, FL | Helena, MT | Jackson, MS | Jacksonville, FL | Little Rock, AR | Los Angeles, CA | Macon, GA | Milwaukee, WI | New York City, NY | Norwalk, CT | Phoenix, AZ | Reno, NV | Sacramento, CA | San Diego, CA | San Francisco, CA | St. Louis, MO | Tampa, FL | Washington, DC | Wheeling, WV

Clips of some of these new pieces are available to watch below.

We need you to help us spread the word about this global plastic pollution epidemic that is hurting our waterways, wildlife and food supply.
Become An ASA Member Today!

Remember, the heart of the program is the responsible use of plastic and to always bring back more plastic than you take.

Why Should You Care About Plastic Pollution?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an 80,000-ton beast of debris lurking in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California. It has grown to twice the size of Texas. There are five such plastic islands polluting oceans throughout the globe, threatening wildlife and ultimately the food we eat.

As the plastic breaks up into tiny pieces, birds and fish think it’s food and eat it. Their bellies get full and they ultimately starve themselves to death, killing our food supply. Some scientists say this poisoning of the food chain ultimately poses a threat to all of us, pointing to links between plastic pollution and cancer, among other illnesses.

Eighteen billion pounds of plastic waste blows into the ocean each year. That’s the equivalent of five grocery bags of plastic trash sitting on every foot of coastline around the world.