Our Sustainable Pledge: Supporting The Ocean Cleanup
Eleanor Bickerton Apr 30, 2018
Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently litter the ocean.
Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the ocean from rivers, landfills and beach pollution. A significant percentage of this plastic drifts into large systems of circulating ocean currents, here the plastic waste collects, forming mass bodies of floating refuse.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. Located between Hawaii and California, the GPGP covers an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometers, an area twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France.
These garbage patches are one of the biggest environmental issues of our time, if left to circulate, the plastic will impact our ecosystems, health and economies.
“According to the United Nations, plastic pollution is conservatively estimated to have a financial impact of 13 billion USD per year. The cost stems from the plastic’s impact on marine life, tourism, fisheries and businesses, impacting more than 600 marine species.”
This plastic pollution is deadly to aquatic life who, due to the plastic size and colour of plastic waste, confuse the material for food, causing malnutrition and in some cases death.
Once plastic enters the marine food web, there is a possibility that it will contaminate the human food chain, which may have dire and unknown consequences.
How to tackle the plastic crisis: The Ocean Cleanup
Solving this colossal issue requires a combination of closing the source, and cleaning up the damage that has already accumulated in the ocean. This is where The Ocean Cleanup project plays a crucial role.
Founded in 2013 by dutch inventor Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organisation that aims to develop advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.
By utilizing ocean currents, the project has engineered passive drifting systems that concentrate and collect debris without harming native sea-life.
This summer, The Ocean Cleanup will attempt to launch its first cleanup system inside the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. By deploying a fleet of systems, the Ocean Cleanup has estimated to be able to remove 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years’ time.
The collected plastic debris will be brought back to shore for recycling and sold to B2C companies. The revenue gained will help fund the cleanup expansion to the other four ocean gyres.
The Ocean Cleanup develops vital and advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. We are proud to actively support The Ocean Cleanup scheme as part of our pledge to donate 10% of our profits to sustainable charities.
To find out more about The Ocean Cleanup please head over to the website - here
To learn more about our sustainable pledge click here