Technology and human endeavour is turning the tide against the plastic waste crisis engulfing our oceans. You too can make a difference by joining our partnership, says Christine Tangdal, of the ReSea Project.
Around 335m tons of plastic is produced annually but only nine per cent is recycled. For example, an estimated 17m metric tons of plastic entered oceans in 2021, contaminating hotspots which already bear the brunt of the world’s waste problem. The UN believes that plastic ocean waste will triple in volume by 2040 if no action is taken.
Plastic does not belong in nature. The ocean is our biggest ecosystem, we must take care of it – we can, together.
ReSea Project is a Danish ocean and river clean-up solution operating out of Jakarta, Indonesia. We clean oceans and rivers on behalf of businesses who want to champion environmental action and leverage their sustainability commitments.
Our work focuses on collective action and the will among businesses to make a difference.
All types of plastic end up in the ocean but not all plastics are created equal – each type has to be handled, extracted and disposed of in a specific way before it can be reused correctly.
Plastic has helped humanity in so many ways, but we need the right waste management systems to dispose of it. The solution is simply not there yet, meaning that ocean pollution is not only accumulating day by day, but growing in tandem with plastic production.
It’s crystal clear that many industries rely on plastic for its favourable qualities, and erasing plastic as a material, or demanding that production ceases, is not realistic – at least not now. But acting on its damaging impact is both do-able and intrinsic to how we start solving the crisis and stop it escalating.
The blame game
We believe blame has no place in the solution and that the ‘noise’ around blame is part of the problem. The UK alone throws out nearly 100bn pieces of plastic each year (Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic, 2022) with just 12 per cent recycled (The Big Plastic Count / Green Peace, May 2022).
But no one country, company, or industry is to blame.
The whole world is contributing to the problem, and the only solution is developing alternative materials and better waste management systems, reducing single-use plastics, and political action.
By taking responsibility on every level – government, company and consumer – so much can be done. Lots of clever people are already working towards these solutions: they should be applauded and supported, instead of focusing on why we have ended up here.
ReSea Project supports the ocean plastic heroes and companies striving to be part of the solution. We want to remove plastic waste and stop its future flow. But the problem won’t disappear overnight.
Join the solution
ReSea Project works on the ground in Indonesia to mobilise the local clean-up solution. It engages communities around Jakarta to safely recover plastic waste from their oceans and rivers. Our impact is solely dependent on businesses signing up, and in fact, 1.8m kgs have been removed to date [September 2022]. That’s equivalent to 1.8bn plastic straws.
Play your part – and prove it
Eighty-one per cent of executives believe companies should make greater efforts to protect the environment, according to a Deloitte study, and we wholeheartedly applaud all efforts to take action.
But it’s not enough to just do it. You must have the certification. Investments and actions must be proven, documented and reported. After all, stakeholders have a vested interest in finding out how they are helping combat the crisis.
ReSea Project offers a fully certified, documented and verified approach so companies can fully understand how their contribution is making a difference. Every step of our collection process is documented, and data stored using a blockchain-based tracking system.
Our whole clean-up and collection process is certified by independent third party DNV for an extra layer of trust. This certification gives the highest level of traceability so that companies can be certain their involvement in ReSea Project truly helps make a difference for the planet. We are one of just two organisations in the world that are certified to this standard and for good reason.
When a partner asks us to remove plastic waste from oceans and rivers on their behalf, they get a certificate once the plastic has been removed and the collected kilograms are allocated to them.
This way, we have a fully transparent clean-up process and measurable results, together with a simple message that everyone can get behind.
For example, we work with partner Claremon, a Bradford-based marketing and printing company, to remove 200g of plastic (equivalent to 10 plastic bottles), through every order placed with them. They encourage their customers and business partners to take part too.
Every time an eco-friendly alternative choice is made, Claremon undertakes to remove the equivalent of 50 plastic bottles. To welcome new clients, they remove the equivalent to 100 bottles. If that client is referred to Claremon, they will remove a further 100 bottles as a thank you.
This approach is easy to communicate to customers, and makes results understandable and tangible.
We also partnered with eco-friendly Australian sunglasses brand, Good Citizens, which repurposes drinks bottles and recycles them into frames and hinges for sunglasses. Every purchase funds the removal of an equivalent 80 plastic straws or four plastic bottles (80g in total).
The approach works. Companies believe in our mission and understand the positive impact of the work we are doing together. And importantly, stakeholders, employees and customers feel part of our movement, thanks to our transparency.
Blockchain deep dive
Our digital tracking system based on blockchain technology secures real-time data and tracks the origin of recovered plastic and all steps in our clean-up process. Combined with third-party certification, there is full traceability from the moment it is touched by a human hand, to when it arrives at our sorting facility. Here, it is fine sorted and distributed to partners who can use it for new purposes.
We help our partners communicate its impact in an accurate clear way – for example, 100kg is equivalent to 100,000 plastic straws, and that’s an achievement everyone can relate to!
We also help with visuals, text and even partner-specific QR codes that can be used on products or shared with stakeholders to track waste removal. Communication is key too. We offer support through social media and ideas to share with your target audience.
We are partners. We are in this together.
Immediate impact vs longer term solutions
Sustainability remains front and centre for many businesses, and we’re engaged with companies across all industries. Our partners see the importance of acting now and continuing the momentum. Plus, employees are opting to work for companies that demonstrate sustainability and give back to the planet in some way.
Anyone can join our movement – you don’t have be an expert on plastic pollution. You just have to want to make a documented and measurable positive difference, and be part of the solution.
We are starting to turn the tide – our work is having a direct and immediate impact and the more we can do together, the better. Find out more at reseaproject.com.
ReSea Project works shoulder to shoulder with global brands and companies in the fight against the ocean plastic crisis. So, every time, a bottle is bought from eco wine brand, The Hidden Sea, the equivalent of 10 plastic bottles comes out of oceans and rivers.
Top ferry operator DFDS launched a campaign to coincide with Earth Day 2022 offering a mini cruise from Oslo to Copenhagen, with proceeds going directly to removing plastic via ReSea Project. Each ticket sold stopped the equivalent of 625 plastic straws from polluting the ocean.
Both campaigns exceeded their targets and attracted global media attention.