The Prevented Ocean Plastic Research Centre proudly hosted a pre-COP27 summit with some of the world’s best recyclers last week.
Attendees from around the globe – representing every part of the recycling supply chain, as well as business partners and advocates – gathered in London to view a presentation on the impact and continued growth of the Prevented Ocean Plastic programme. Despite a full room, many more people joined the event online to receive the update.
The programme’s sustainability lead, Claire Sammons-Evans, called it “an exciting opportunity to bring together and connect so many different parts of the supply chain. It’s an unprecedented chance for people to hear how POP materials have been implemented and foster further opportunities to engage.”
Raffi Schieir, Director of Bantam Materials and the Prevented Ocean Plastic programme, led the summit. He called on industry leaders to describe how the programme consistently stands out. He invited recycling centre managers from Indonesia and South America to give their feedback on the situations on the ground, and describe the difference that the Prevented Ocean Plastic programme continues to make in their countries.
Prioritising that impact – focusing on traceability, being mindful of pollution and good working conditions, as well as social entrepreneurship – has been the aim of the programme since it began, and it has already saved more than a billion bottles from entering the ocean while doing that.
The programme is expanding too. This week, Prevented Ocean Plastic Africa was launched. This will collect plastic from areas in East Africa- including the Swahili Coast and where the Nile meets the Mediterranean-with little or no current recycling, for expert, food-safe processing in North Africa. Construction for the infrastructure of the Africa programme is already underway, with material set to join the supply chain in Q1 of 2023. This will save up to 5,000 tonnes of plastic a year from entering the ocean through pollution.
Even more can be done though, and the summit also served as an announcement for the Prevented Ocean Plastic Standards – a set of guidelines that aim to elevate what is possible in an industry that has so far existed with flexible regulation. These standards will formalise the way Prevented Ocean Plastic works with suppliers to ensure consistency, and help more easily make ongoing improvements to the programme.
Speaking in Materials Recycling World, Schieir said, “We are on a mission to address the problems of the recycling industry by providing sustainable, long-term supply solutions that reduce the need for virgin plastic, support collection and clean up our natural environment. We are confident that our standards will both support and encourage our industry to push the envelope on what is possible for a circular economy.”
About PREVENTED OCEAN PLASTIC:
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.