Maria Westerbos is an expert in mass communication, focusing on both traditional and new media. She combines a taste for inspiring social change projects with strategic insight and near flawless intuition covering a wide range of target groups.
Maria is the brains and driving force behind the BeatThe MicroBead Campaign which was born in her head in the spring of 2012 and she over-viewed and realized every detail of it from that very first moment. The Beat the Microbead campaign was at that time the first campaign of the Plastic Soup Foundation of which she is Founder & Director.
The Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF) is a non-profit organization that works to bring a halt to the increasing plastic pollution of marine environments. The intent of the PSF is to staunchly prevent more plastic ending up at sea. Change at a global level is needed to achieve this. With Beat the Microbead the goal was and still is: effecting behavioural change in the use of micro plastics by international businesses, local and national governments, consumers and NGOs.
UpGyres was the 5th signatory of the Beat The MicroBead Campaign in Berlin at the 2013 International Conference on Prevention and Management of Marine Litter and is one of the 78 NGOs in 35 countries that proudly supports Maria, her work and the Campaign.
Maria is a flamboyant woman with a zest for life who is able to motivate groups with inspiring stories about taking a positive approach to complex problems for permanent change.
In 2015, Maria ranked number 35 in the Dutch Sustainable 100.