There’s a ton of plastic floating in our oceans. In fact, about 8 million metric tons of plastic waste found its way into the sea in 2010 alone.
The 2 billion people living in communities within 30 miles of the coast generated over one-third of the 275 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2010. An alarming 31.9 million metric tons of this coastal waste was handled improperly. Though garbage can travel to the ocean through sewer systems and rivers from land-bound areas, mismanaged waste from coastal regions is more likely to pollute the ocean.
Though ocean plastic pollution poses significant health risks to both marine life and humans, it also presents the opportunity to expand niche recycling markets. Many businesses are stepping up to the challenge, utilizing vast company resources and industry savvy to reach a solution that is both environmentally and financially beneficial.
One such company called Envision Plastics, a plastics manufacturing company specializing in post-consumer and recycled HDPE products with plants in North Carolina and California has committed to reducing ocean plastic pollution by sourcing post-consumer plastic from coastal regions.
Over the next two years, Envision Plastics intends to prevent 10 million pounds of plastic- the equivalent of about 70 million one-gallon milk jugs- from ever reaching the ocean in the first place through partnerships with coastal suppliers. The company recognized that a focus on removal, such as beach cleanups, rather than prevention fails to collect meaningful volumes of plastic waste from our waters.
With state of the art HDPE recycling systems, Envision created Oceanbound Plastic, a blend manufactured using plastics collected from coastal communities and most likely to find its way into the ocean. Like virgin and traditional post-consumer HDPE, Oceanbound Plastic offers versatility, stability, and exceptional quality.
HDPE is an inert resin and does not contain harmful substances, such as BPA, phthalates, heavy metals, or allergens. Because HDPE is chemically inactive and won’t leach into products, popular applications include food and beverage containers and chemical containers for hygienic and household cleaning products.
To promote widespread use of their ocean plastic material, Envision has been partnered with Method since 2011. Method manufactures biodegradable plant- and mineral-based cleaning products in environmentally-friendly plastic containers. The blend of ocean bound and post-consumer plastics creates a unique dark gray resin used to package Method’s 2-in-1 dish + hand soap, which is displayed on Whole Food shelves across the country.
Both Envision Plastics and Method are proving environmental responsibility is financially feasible. With ever-increasing demand for post-consumer materials, recycling can be an economically beneficial business decision.
Recycling need not be the core focus of your business. Many businesses, such as grocers, retailers, manufacturers, and thrift stores, can include recycling programs into their current business model to generate additional streams of revenue.
If you’d like to explore ways in which your company can dispose waste in an environmentally and financially smart way, contact us! Berg Mill Supply has decades of experience finding and developing niche markets for hard-to-sell waste, as well as recycling program management expertise.