3 Companies Working Hard to Combat Plastic Pollution
It's no secret that the ocean plastic pollution problem the Earth currently faces is enormous, overwhelming, and is causing grave danger to marine life and the health of our seas. The statistics are staggering...
8 million metric tons of plastic makes it way into the ocean every year-roughly the equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic being dumped every minute.
As individuals, we know it's important to recycle and reduce our single-use plastic consumption, but the severity of the pollution problem can easily make us feel helpless. The good news is that there are companies making a big impact on a large scale, and are even turning ocean pollution into products!
First, let's take a look into how plastic gets into the ocean in the first place...
As you can see, the problem's not a simple one to solve because the plastics come from so many different sources from both land and sea.
Ocean based debris comes from fishing vessels dumping nets, freight ships losing cargo overboard, and debris from offshore oil and gas platforms.
On land, plastic litter is carried away into storm drains which ultimately dump into the ocean, trash is dumped into rivers and streams, and lightweight single use plastics may be blown out to sea. Even mother nature herself can send plastics to the ocean as a result of extreme natural events such as flooding, high winds, and heavy rain.
Thankfully, there are multiple purpose-driven companies working hard to combat the plastic pollution crisis on a large scale...
The Ocean Cleanup was founded by Boyan Slat in 2013 with a mission to rid the ocean of plastic. It led to the development of an innovative floating system which collects and removes ocean debris, and intercepts debris in rivers before it finds its way to the sea.
His efforts have concentrated on cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located between Hawaii and California which is an area about the size of Texas and is one of the five gyres found in the world's oceans.
Boyan wanted to take things a step further and create a product that would be useful, sustainable, and recyclable, closing the loop on the whole process. As a result, a pair of sunglasses were designed that are manufactured from 100% recovered ocean plastic.
100% of the proceeds from their sales go right back into the funding of the company.
It all started in 2017 with two friends Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper traveling to Bali on a surfing trip where they were shocked by the amount of plastic waste they witnessed on the beaches and vowed to change the situation.
They are working to not only clean up harmful ocean plastic in oceans, rivers, and coastlines, but to stop plastic pollution at its source through education and encouraging people to change their consumption habits.
The company raises money for their cleanup efforts through the sale of products on their website- in particular their signature 4ocean bracelets made of recycled glass and plastic which are hand assembled by artisans in Bali.
They've recently launched a new iPhone case that's made from Green Circle certified ocean plastic that has been collected by their captains and crews.
GOT BAG is another inspiring story about how a friendship between entrepreneurs with a common passion can make real changes to benefit the environment and its inhabitants.
The founders, Benny Mandos and Roman Ruster were inspired to turn ocean waste into something useful after talking about the plastic crowded beaches in Thailand. Their inspiration led to creating the world’s first backpack made from ocean plastic.
The company maintains control of the entire production process so that they can ensure resource conservation, fair work conditions, job safety, and certifications.
They are also working towards establishing a waste infrastructure in rural Indonesian areas by educating local communities about plastic pollution and waste separation.
Lots of great styles and products to choose from so check them out!
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