Prevented Ocean Plastic™, and our operating definition of ocean-bound plastic, was inspired by the pioneering work of Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering and 2022 MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Jenna Jambeck, and her research team. They utilised various criteria in their research, and it is important to consider these factors together, rather than looking at one aspect of the problem in isolation.
- The country or region lacks proper waste management infrastructure and collection incentives.
- The infrastructure is being overwhelmed by population growth and/or increased tourism.
- There is a significant risk to wildlife and biodiversity if plastic contaminates their ecosystem.
- It is found within 50km (30mi) distance of an ocean coastline or major waterway that feeds into the ocean.
Academic research is always at the core of what we do – offering tangible solutions to real-world problems – which is why we established the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Research Centre in 2020, and our work continues to be inspired by the latest studies in the field.
It is also why we’re looking to solutions in places like Semarang – which was identified in a recent Circularity Assessment Protocol (CAP) by the University of Georgia – as well as directly funding further research on the topic, such as the new Hydraulic Movement of Litter study, to better understand the problem and the ways we can help to solve it.
Prevented Ocean Plastic™ operates around the world. The Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Programme explicitly identifies areas that do not benefit from established recycling infrastructures and allows brand owners and our customers the ability to clearly trace the materials in their products back to specific coastal communities in these at-risk areas, such as: South East Asia, South America and the Galapagos Islands, Central America & the Caribbean, the Mediterranean.
2022 saw the announcement of Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Africa. New infrastructure developed in two areas in East Africa- including the Swahili Coast and where the Nile meets the Mediterranean- will save up to 5,000 tonnes of plastic a year from entering the ocean through pollution.
In 2023, the Programme will start working in West Africa.
Everywhere it operates, local business owners and workers inform the development of the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Programme to ensure it remains uniquely tailored and most efficient for their specific region.
Discarded plastic bottles are picked up by plastic collectors from areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution.
The bottles are then taken to local collection centres for payment.
Upon arrival the plastic bottles are sorted and then pressed for transport to plastic recycling factories.
At the factory, the plastic is washed, sanitised and processed into raw material flakes or pellets, all according to European and North American quality standards.
The recycled plastic has certified traceability from coastline collection until it becomes sustainable recycled packaging on your supermarket shelf.
Offering you a better plastic choice.
We all know there’s a problem.
According to academic study, 80% of ocean plastic comes from land-based sources, with most entering the ocean from developing coastal communities. Every year more than 12 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean.
But the truth is that when a bottle hits the water, it’s too late. The sun and the salt water degrade the plastic within a few days, making it largely unusable for recycling. This makes the removal of ocean plastic a clean-up effort, not a recycling effort. This is why we act to ensure that the plastic never reaches the water.
The Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Programme prevents over 1000 tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean every month, and has so far prevented over 1 billion plastic bottles from reaching the water. providing an alternative to 30,000 tonnes of virgin plastic usage.
The Programme helps tens of thousands of people around the world to earn their living, clean their coastlines and prevent ocean plastic. And as part of the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Programme, bottle collector micro-entrepreneurs benefit from a consistent and reliable income. Each day we send over $100,000 to factory owners to keep payments flowing down the supply chain.
The solution is clear
Prevented Ocean Plastic™ was born in 2019, built by a small team of supply chain specialists aiming to solve the diverse issues facing the recycling industry. Based in offices on the Richmond Green in the UK, our roster has grown to include sustainability, packaging, and communications professionals. We collaborate with an array of ambitious business partners and brands, and some of the best recyclers in the world, to make things better.
The Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Research Centre is housed in Richmond too. This team works to elevate standards within our supply chain, and ensure the Programme is properly audited. And in 2020, they announced the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Standards.
And there’s more…
- In 2020, in association with Lidl, Prevented Ocean Plastic™ won the Sustainable Initiative of the Year.
- In 2021, Bantam Materials, the producers of Prevented Ocean Plastic™, became the first recycled plastic supplier to join the ETI, the Ethical Trading Initiative. Members of the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Research Centre have subsequently sat on members boards.
- In July 2022, USAID announced their support of Prevented Ocean Plastic™. The partnership will help process about 30 tonnes of material per day while providing new income for approximately 100 employees.
- In 2023 we were nominated for the Earthshot prize.
The Prevented Ocean Plastic™ team is proud of our work. But there’s always more than can be done…
Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is on track to collect our next billion bottles in half the time. Over the next three years, with your support, we will prevent 100,000 tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean. In addition to our focus on collecting PET plastic, we will continue our expansion into other types of plastic, including HDPE and PP, which will prevent an extra 10,000 tonnes of ocean plastic over the next three years. Beyond that, we are exploring further types of plastic, such as flexible films, to ensure there is a viable circular economy for all ocean bound plastic waste.