Renew Ganga

An estimated 1.2 billion pounds of plastic enter the oceans from the Ganges river—Ganga in Hindi—every year. It is one of the longest rivers in the world, home to urban communities of 120 million people.

It is also a river of spiritual significance. In Hindu mythology, the goddess Ganga represents the universal mother and protector. Mother Ganga is revered as a purifier—as are the flowing waters of her namesake river, Ganga.

This is where we begin work for our inaugural Renew Oceans project—Renew Ganga

 
 
 
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Our goal is to divert 100,000 pounds of ocean-bound plastics in India in our first year

We will start in Varanasi, India, one of the seven sacred cities in the Hindu religion. Home to 23,000 temples, Varanasi is a cultural center where devotees make pilgrimages and perform rituals along the river’s embankments and shoreline. As part of sacred rites, offerings are often put in plastic bags and placed in the river for absolution.

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Ganga is a river of worship, and also the population’s main source of drinking water, but it is polluted to a dangerous level as a result of human activity. In some places, the pollution level is 100 times higher than the Indian government’s limit.

We seek to honor Ganga by protecting and purifying her sacred waters. Renew Ganga will be the centerpiece of our efforts to divert 100,000 pounds of ocean-bound plastics in India, empowering local women and others in Varanasi to help protect rivers and oceans from plastic pollution.