Back in February, we visited Costa Rica to shoot our new summer collection, Destinations. During our visit, we met Carolina Sevilla who founded the 5 Minute Beach Cleanup Movement in 2016 to encourage people to ‘be a hero for 5 minutes’ by helping to eliminate plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

In 2018, after a successful two years with social media platforms and grassroots movements, Carolina partnered with global entrepreneur and filmmaker, Mauricio Cortes, to start a non-profit organisation with the same vision 5MBC had to progress the global impact.

We interviewed Carolina to find out more about the foundation, what they are doing for the planet and how we can help reduce our impact on the environment, eliminate single-use plastics and clean up beaches.

Why did you decide to start the Five Minute Foundation?

‘We decided to start the non-profit in 2018 to be able to create more impact in our home country, Costa Rica to then replicate elsewhere.’

When you started in 2016, did you imagine the 5 Minute Beach Cleanup Movement would become as successful as it has?

‘We never imagined it was going to be successful, I thought of it as a local initiative or a simple educational Instagram account, that’s it’

Since you started, have you seen a positive change towards education and action in Costa Rica around people littering less or the government offering better recycling programmes?

‘The country itself has always been somehow aware of environmental problems but they have done very little in regards to plastic pollution besides banning the styrofoam, they just banned straws and certain bags. This is very sad for us environmentalists so we hope that we can inspire people to fight and advocate for the oceans together with us in now and in the near future.’

What is your greatest achievement?

‘Our greatest achievement has been to be able to start a pilot project called Ocean Heroes in Dota, a country side region in Costa Rica where we were able to educate 1000 students to learn about plastic pollution in the ocean and how they can help preserve the oceans from their households and communities. ‘

What campaign are you working on next?

‘We are working hard to implement a circular economy project called Trace Your Plastic that consists of turning marine plastic into objects such as tiles, that can be also turned into chairs, tables, art projects, walls, floors, pool tides, etc.’

Carolina’s Top Tips on how you can improve your impact on the environment and help keep our beaches clean:

1. The first thing I always recommend is to start a plastic free kit that you carry within your purse or in your car. This includes a little box for takeout food, non-plastic utensils, a bottle of water, a metal straw. 

2. Start replacing your bathroom toiletries for reusable ones. 

3. Share all the information you find on social media with your friends and family, start talking about this topic in the supermarket or wherever, whenever you can, we all need to be activists for the environment. 

4. Clean up the beach for 5 minutes at least if you want to go longer, it’s better! You also can use it as a meditation. It’s something that makes you feel good, or even high!! because it gives you a boost, as you feel part of the solution not just part of the problem. 

5. Start buying more groceries at the food market instead of going and getting bags at the supermarket to fill out your greens, you can bring a reusable bag and reduce the weekly use of plastic in big, huge amounts. 

To find out how you can get involved and spend 5 minutes cleaning up your local beach, click here.

Head over to our website to see more from behind the scenes of our Destinations shoot.