Brand Audits

Auditing trash removed from the Missouri River

With over 20 years of experience cleaning up the Missouri River, the leading trash item that we remove is plastic waste. We are deepening our work to eliminate plastics in the environment with a new partnership with Missouri River Bird Observatory, a non-profit whose mission is to contribute to the conservation of birds and their habitats through science, education, and advocacy. Together we are combating the issues of plastic in Missouri River with one brand audit at a time at our large-scale cleanups.

What is a brand audit?

A brand audit is a participatory science initiative that involves counting and documenting the brands found on plastic waste to help identify the companies responsible for plastic pollution. (Source: Break Free From Plastics Website)

The data gathered from these brand audits are accumulated into a larger report by Break Free from Plastic to identify the world's top polluting corporations to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. 

Read more here about the Break Free from Plastic impact goals.

What are we doing?

We are pulling TONS of trash out of the Missouri River each year. Our partners from Missouri River Bird Observatory approached us with a partnership to lead a brand audit at each of our large-scale cleanup programs. MRBO has been trained in conducting these brand audits. Our amazing partners are bringing this knowledge and opportunity to our programs, then reporting the data results!

At a typical cleanup, up to 200 pre-registered volunteers join us at 9:00am for registration, partake in our orientation and safety briefing, then head out on the Missouri River via boat to sites along the banks to remove trash for a couple of hours. After we return each volunteer safely back to the boat ramp, our crew heads back out to retrieve the trash collected. As the trash returns, MRBO will lead a team of volunteers to siphon through the trash collected, pull out the plastic items, sort them by brand and number, and record the data.

  • 1 - General volunteers help pick trash up at pre-scouted sites along the river.
  • 2 - MRR Crew haul trash back to the river access.

  • 3 - Volunteers identify and record each plastic item collected off the river.

What can you do?

There are many ways you can aide in stopping plastic pollution.

1. Clean Rivers Start at Home

Clean Rivers Start at Home was designed with the idea that we could take the next step beyond cleanups and slow the flow of plastic from our homes.

Through this program, we want to encourage people to reduce their personal consumption of single-use plastics.

Check out our new program for ways that you can reduce your plastic use in your daily routine!

2. Join an MRR Cleanup

Be a part of removing TONS of trash from the Missouri River, where MRBO will be joining us to audit the trash collected. Join us at one of our upcoming large-scale cleanup events across the state of Missouri:

3. Start your own brand audit 

You can sign up to start your own brand audits on the Break Free From Plastic website. Once signed up and equipped with the knowledge of the audit task, you are ready to start picking up trash! 

4. Advocacy

Advocacy in the fight against plastic pollution is crucial in to making real and lasting change for the environment. MRBO works with organizations like Conservation Federation of MissouriMissouri Coalition for the Environment and Stream Teams United along with their own background research in order to determine stances on particular bills. 

MRBO takes advocacy action in many forms. Check out their advocacy site for more information and be sure to signup for their advocacy emails. 


Ready for Action?

This website is created and maintained by Missouri River Relief, P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205
MRR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN) 03-0425187
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