Certified ‘Ocean Bound Plastic’ has to meet 3 key criteria;
- In an area with no formal waste management infrastructure
- Within 50km of the coastline
You might think that 50km (30miles) is a pretty long way from the coast and that if plastic was in abandoned there that it wouldn’t be very “likely to end up in the ocean”, but in the regions where we collect pollution, it’s different. Here’s why – water!
Water picks up and carries plastic very easily, in fact rivers are the single greatest source of plastic in the ocean¹.
And Southeast Asian countries are among the wettest in the world. They are subject to torrential monsoon rains that collect everything in their path – ditches flow into streams, streams into rivers and from there into the ocean.
Remember, these are areas with no formal waste management infrastructure. There are no garbage trucks coming around regularly, no trash can on a street corner, no managed landfill. In fact, most trash will be dumped where it’s subject to animals foraging and eventually those monsoon rains will come and wash it away, downhill ...
The Visual Capitalist explains, “Some might think that the countries producing or consuming the most plastic are the ones that pollute the oceans the most. But that’s not true… Countries with a smaller geographical area, longer coastlines, high rainfall, and poor waste management systems are more likely to wash plastics into the sea.”
Check out this amazing interactive map of the Worst-polluting rivers in the world (red dots)
We need to incentivise people in these regions to collect this plastic pollution BEFORE it gets in the riverways, and the most compelling ‘reason’ is always to get paid for it.
At Better Packaging Co. we have managed to do this. After 18 months of R&D, we have made mailing satchels, poly garment bags and more from recycled Ocean Bound Plastic pollution collected from Indonesia and Malaysia.
This is our POLLAST!C™ Range which we supply to companies for them to use instead of packaging made from virgin plastic, so it’s a win on many fronts; We are able to pay people in developing countries to rescue plastic pollution from their environments, provide them with employment AND prevent the need for new plastic to be made and put out into the world. We’ve got enough of this sh!t already, we just need to start valuing it Better.
Further info on the Ocean bound Plastic Certification.