SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is a community with a single voice against plastic pollution. We bring together individuals, organisations and companies, to help clean our oceans, raise awareness of the issue of marine plastic and highlight the heroes who are working to solve it. We work with ocean clean-ups around the world, to bring value to the waste they recover.
As licensees ourselves, we’re privileged to be a part of this unique global collaborative community. How would you define it?
Can you tell us more about these ocean clean-ups and how you work with them?
Worldwide, there are a growing number of ocean clean-ups working hard to retrieve marine litter from our oceans, beaches, rivers and estuaries. Ocean clean-ups can be anything from small groups of local volunteers, all the way through to large international programs. They can be one-off beach clean-ups or involve whole communities of fishermen retrieving waste on a regular basis. These ocean clean-ups collect all types of waste; plastics, metals, glass, rubber, and mixed material items – everything from shoes to refrigerators!
Because mixed waste is expensive to recycle, in the past much of this waste was destined to landfill or incineration. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is dedicated to giving a second life to this resource by creating a new, fully traceable raw material, Upcycled Marine Plastic. At SEAQUAL INITIATIVE our aim is make use of all the waste recovered from our oceans, we don’t look for materials to recycle we find a way to recycle the materials we find.
The mixed waste collected by ocean clean-ups is sorted into different material types; materials such as metals and glass are recycled through traditional routes, while organic material and other non-plastics are recycled or disposed of responsibly. Marine plastics are harder to recycle. Although plastics can survive in the ocean for hundreds of years, UV rays, salt water and friction mean they can degrade quickly. SEAQUAL INITIATIVE is dedicated to giving a new life to all types of marine plastic.
How do you go from mixed marine waste to upcycled marine plastic?
The types of plastics found and the ratio of plastics to other materials depends upon many factors, including the type of ocean clean-up, the region and the season. Typically, beach clean-ups have higher percentages of plastics, because the waste has been carried there by the tides; for example, PET water bottles may represent 40% of waste collected on some beaches, but only 5-10% of the waste collected from the ocean floor by fishermen.
The plastic portion is cleaned and transformed into Upcycled Marine Plastic at SEAQUAL INITIATIVE approved facilities. It is then returned to industry to be transformed into beautiful, new, sustainable products.
Looking to the future, what are your main goals?
Our aim is to create a seismic shift in attitude towards sustainability. We are developing a worldwide program to recover plastic waste from the environment and engaging with all industries to transform this resource into new high-quality everyday products. Consumers will be able to choose SEAQUAL-certified products from leading brands for every aspect of their life and in choosing products containing Upcycled Marine Plastic, such as Oceanic, we are collectively helping to end plastic pollution.