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Bantam Materials becomes first recycled plastic supplier to join the Ethical Trading Initiative

By September 1, 2021June 5th, 2023One Comment

Bantam Materials, the supplier of Prevented Ocean Plastic, has joined the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).

Today, Bantam Materials, the supplier of Prevented Ocean Plastic, announced it has joined the Ethical Trading Initiative as part of its ambition to drive up standards for recycled packaging products. It is the first recycled plastic business to be accepted to the ETI- a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe. 

As members of the ETI, Bantam Materials will apply an internationally recognised framework to its unique supply chain structure, aligning with best practice within ethical trade. Bantam Materials will share insights from its own work, as well as have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with fellow members operating in other sectors.

Raffi Schieir, the Director of Bantam, said “Bantam Materials has always been committed to ensuring that Prevented Ocean Plastic is best-in-class recycled ocean bound plastic, pushing up standards wherever necessary. Our ETI membership is the latest step in our journey and comes in recognition that there is an urgent need to protect bottle collectors across developing countries as demand for recycled plastic builds, with each geographic location presenting its own unique challenges..”

Over 10,000 tonnes of Prevented Ocean Plastic was delivered into the market in 2020, making it the largest programme of its kind. It also continues to grow quickly, passing the 20,000 tonne mark in Q3 2021. Several of our key implementing partners include UK retailers who are existing members of the ETI including: Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Aldi. We look forward to collaborating with existing and future partners through the ETI membership to tackle systemic ethical trade challenges and share our knowledge of the plastics industry.

Prevented Ocean Plastic will be the priority focus for Bantam Materials during its first year of membership, with the whole organisation’s business practices forming part of the assessment for year two. In addition to gaining a greater understanding of its supply chain, including recognising its business impact on risks within its supply chain, membership of the ETI will help to increase transparency around the real-life experiences of the bottle collectors who are at the starting point of the supply chain.

“We are proud to be joining ETI as the first recycling industry supplier and pleased it comes at a time when strength in diversity matters to the membership. We represent the changing industrial landscape of initiatives contributing to environmental improvements while seeking to progress human rights in our supply chain, two sustainability issues which until now, have been tackled separately. Becoming members of ETI allows us to build on our existing work and drive improvements for workers in our growing diverse supply chain,” said Claire Sammons-Evans, Sustainability Lead at the Prevented Ocean Plastic Research Centre.

Establishing the Prevented Ocean Plastic programme has brought with it a number of challenges, not least because ocean-bound plastics are notoriously the ‘Wild West’ of the recycling industry. Bantam Materials has been building an understanding of our supply chain risks, whilst engaging suppliers and customers in honest conversations about the challenges and opportunities we face. We are adapting existing policies, processes and systems to ensure the programme upholds workers’ rights at every stage of the supply chain.

Bantam Materials has put in place rigorous traceability practices and auditing requirements where previously access to supply chain has been limited. Setting up the programme has meant creating unique methodologies to fit the ocean-bound industry, building strong supplier relationships to uphold standards and establishing due diligence processes.

“We are delighted to welcome Bantam Materials to Foundation membership at ETI,” said Kate Lewis, Head of Membership at ETI. “Bantam Materials brings a new emerging sector to ETI and we look forward to working with Bantam to further develop their work in ethical trade and human rights. This move sends an important signal to others in this sector about the importance of facing the issues head on and the advantages of working collaboratively with other sectors and peers.”

Prevented Ocean Plastic is a pioneering plastic recycling company developing locally customized sorting and collection infrastructure to underserved communities across the world. We are committed to strengthening the supply chain and scaling solutions for the management of plastic waste in the country. We provide high quality traceable recycled plastic to global markets to drive environmental, social and economic value from the bottle collector to the end consumer.

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