Marine Conservation Biologist Christine Figgener, Ph.D., Appointed Director of Science and Education
GILBERT, Ariz. (April 20, 2020) — Footprint, a sustainable technology firm specializing in materials science, today announced the formation of its non-profit organization, the Footprint Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to introduce positive global change through education and engagement with thought leaders, companies, students and individuals on the severe effects single-use plastics have on the earth’s environment and human health. The goals is to create change via knowledge of sustainable alternatives that can be easily incorporated into daily choices and make a measurable impact on reducing plastic use.
As part of fulfilling its educational goals, the Footprint Foundation will act as a trusted resource to provide education that fosters engagement alongside environmentally friendly practices. The Footprint Foundation effort will help reduce the 35 million tons of annual plastic waste that enters and harms our waterways, the 5.6 million tons of plastic incinerated, and the 26.8 million tons of plastics added to landfills, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Concurrent with the foundation’s formation is the appointment of marine conservation biologist Christine Figgener, Ph.D., as the Foundation’s director of science and education. In her role, Dr. Figgener will work directly with educators, students and consumers to increase awareness and knowledge of the plastic waste crisis; and how they can help eliminate plastic waste from the environment and food chain with plant-based solutions. In 2018, Christine was named a Next Generation Leader by TIME Magazine for her outreach work and was a Dallas Morning Post Texan of the Year finalist in 2019 for her research and commitment to reducing consumption of unnecessary plastics. Christine holds a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University’s Marine Biology ID Graduate Program.
“The foundation of transformational change begins with science and education,” said Footprint CEO Troy Swope. “Dr. Figgener brings both extensive scientific knowledge of the plastic waste crisis impact on marine life and a deep desire to change the world. Our foundation is committed to driving engagement to eliminate plastic waste through education and alternatives to stop the world’s addiction to plastic.”
Dr. Figgener is a leading marine conservation biologist with over 15 years of experience researching and conserving turtles, cetaceans and other marine wildlife. Her research has taken her across the globe – including to Costa Rica, Egypt, Germany, Texas – and now Arizona. Her work has indirectly placed a floodlight on the damaging effects of plastic pollution and ignited a passion for saving the world from the impacts of plastic pollution.
In 2015, Dr. Figgener produced a now-viral video documenting the removal of a plastic straw lodged in a marine turtle’s nose, highlighting the harmful effects of plastics in our oceans. This video and associated advocacy work was the tipping point for many businesses, schools and governments to reconsider using plastic straws at their facilities. Her research and advocacy efforts have been featured in BBC and National Geographic documentaries and she is actively involved in sea turtle conservation efforts through her non-profit organization, Costa Rican Alliance for Sea Turtle Conservation & Science.
“The opportunity to lead the Footprint Foundation’s efforts and create actionable change from a large cross-section of people has always been a personal goal of mine,” said Dr. Figgener. “Education about how plastic is destroying the ecosystem and disrupting human health led me to become a plastic-free advocate. I am thrilled to use my voice through the Footprint Foundation to affect positive and measurable change. As sustainable technologies become more pervasive and cost-competitive with plastic, education creates the opportunity for people to make a powerful, global change at an individual level.”
About Footprint Foundation
Footprint™ created the non-profit Footprint Foundation to focus on creating positive global change and the elimination of single-use plastics through education and engagement on sustainable alternatives to make a measurable impact on reducing plastics use. In addition to its educational programs, the Footprint Foundation serves as trusted resource providing education that fosters engagement alongside environmentally friendly practices. For more information about the Footprint Foundation, its global initiative, and how you can help, visit www.footprintus.com.