Maria Westerbos (born in Ethiopia on 10 September 1961) 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. Her most recent success is setting up the Plastic Soup Foundation and effecting behavioural change in the use of micro plastics by international businesses, local and national governments, consumers and NGOs. 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.
She graduated in social sciences with a minor from the School of Journalism. She has now worked for more than 25 years (primarily freelance) for broadcasting companies and production companies. Initially as editor/researcher, but then as producer, production coordinator, editor-in-chief, executive producer, business-unit manager, delegated producer and creative producer.
Right now she is director of the Dutch Plastic Soup Foundation and creating awareness all over Holland, Europe & the world for this severe environmental problem. Plastic Soup Foundation is a NGO which focused on awareness raising and stopping the flow of plastic pollution to the environment. Plastic Soup Foundation started the Beat the Microbead campaign, which is now used in 44 countries bij 98 NGO’s. PSF started the Plastic Health File in 2016 to draw attention to potential health risks of plastic additives and particle toxicity.
Maria is ranked in 2017 number 19 in De Dikke Blauwe: a list of the 100 most influential in ‘The Land of Do Well’.