It’s a sad fact that our oceans and waterways are drowning in plastic. The latest statistics are that somewhere between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans annually. That’s like one garbage truck a minute full of plastic being dumped straight into the ocean. Plastic in the ocean does more than threaten marine life, it enters the human food stream when the fish we eat ingest degraded microplastics. Yuck.
When I learned about recycled ocean bound plastic (OBP), I knew this would be a great way to take that plastic waste and turn it into something desirable. Creating a market for plastic waste would remove tons of potentially harmful bottles out of the waste stream that inevitably ends up in the ocean. But what exactly is ocean bound plastic?
OBP is plastic collected before it can make it to waterways. It’s collected within 30 miles of coastline where waste is mismanaged. That means countries that do not have developed recovery and recycling infrastructure in place to keep trash from entering waterways. Local communities benefit by reducing pollution and creating jobs in cleanup and recycling. Plastic collected from the ocean and waterways is often already too degraded to be upcycled into useful material, not to mention the microplastics that have leeched into the water. Again, yuck.
It was also important to me that the material I chose would be certified so that I would have confidence in the source. I am proud to have my material certified as Ocean Bound Plastic according to the Global Recycling Standard (GRS).
Finding creative ways to use this material ‘Saved from the Sea’ is a driving factor for Trash. Trash is Treasure. Let’s keep plastic out of the ocean!