We all know that plastic waste is a problem, but rarely are we confronted with the hard evidence of its damage to our planet and its bodies of water.
It’s estimated there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste littering our oceans. What’s even more harrowing is that experts predict, without immediate action, that this number will nearly triple by 2040.
Devastating as these figures may be, there’s solace in knowing some companies are making clean oceans a priority — even going so far as to make it a core facet of their business models.
Ocean Brands — the name behind some of Canada’s most popular seafood brands (Ocean’s, Gold Seal, and Millionaires), snacks, sauces, and condiments — recently announced its newest partnership with Berlin-based startup Cleanhub, an organization working to protect our oceans from plastic waste.
The organization’s mission is to help communities with the greatest risk of mismanaged plastic waste sustainably deal with that waste by building resilient plastic collection systems through a number of unique programs across the globe.
Cleanhub then creates opportunities for organizations like Ocean Brands to fund the collection and safe recovery of plastic waste as a way to offset their own activities and contribute to preserving the planet.
In an effort to offset the use of non-recyclable plastics currently necessary to its operations, Ocean Brands will fund the collection of an equivalent amount of plastic through one of Cleanhub’s programs, which will ultimately allow the organization to reduce its impact on the environment.
The partnership is part of Ocean Brands’ ongoing commitment to protecting and preserving the planet, which is rooted in its dedication towards sustainable fishing practices, and now, more recently, achieving plastic neutrality, both of which will contribute to the preservation of ocean health for future generations.
This includes preserving important ecosystems, reducing harm to vulnerable species — like turtles and dolphins — and minimizing marine damage.
Together, the companies will be driving the collection and recovery of low-value plastic, recycling it or turning it into alternative fuel when possible. The hope is that through environmental stewardship and eco-friendly practices, the project will be a step towards achieving plastic neutral operations.
“Environmental stewardship is a top priority for Ocean Brands, and our partnership with Cleanhub will help us to continue to take sustainable action in a meaningful way,” says Ocean Brands President, Ian Ricketts. “We know that change takes time and are committed to rising to the challenge of making our products and processes as environmentally friendly as possible. We are glad to be able to engage in this opportunity as a means of offsetting our current operations as we work towards a better, more sustainable future for our industry.”
Part of this means supporting communities that may not have the means of dealing with plastic sustainably.
For this reason, Ocean Brands will also be sponsoring one of Cleanhub’s newest global initiatives, Tridi Oasis, a female-led recycling collective in Jakarta, Indonesia, working to diminish plastic waste in their local community.
As far as plastic waste goes, Indonesia is considered the second biggest marine polluter in the world. Growing up in its capital city, Dian and Dinda, the founders, grew tired of seeing their home being polluted.
The two friends launched a grassroots organization, setting up a collection system for non-recyclable plastics, educating their community on plastic pollution, organizing beach clean-ups, and creating new forms of revenue streams for the entire industry.
The Tridi Oasis program currently recycles 750 tonnes of plastic each month, and Ocean Brands’ support will allow for further expansion as they continue to develop a new collection system with local suppliers.
“We are passionate about finding more sustainable ways to deal with waste and empowering organizations, communities, and individuals to be part of a global solution that eliminates plastic pollution,” says Cleanhub Founder, Joel Tasche. “We are excited to have Ocean Brands’ support in growing and sustaining the important work being done by the Tridi Oasis project.”
Since 2017, Ocean Brands has removed a total of 60 tonnes of plastic from the packaging used by its brands and continues to make further reductions a priority.
While the brand recognizes there’s still work to be done to achieve plastic neutrality and fully recyclable alternatives, they’re committed to working closely with suppliers and retailers in pursuing creative solutions to the challenges of food packaging.
Environmentally conscious companies, like Ocean Brands, become part of the solution when they calculate their own plastic footprint and pay for the equivalent to be collected through partnerships with innovative companies, like Cleanhub.
The Cleanhub partnership is the latest addition to a multitude of initiatives undertaken by Ocean Brands to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship.
To learn more about Ocean Brands and its eco-friendly efforts, visit oceans.ca/sustainability.