8 Social Enterprises and NGO that are doing amazing things to solve plastic pollution
Plastics seems like an unimportant piece of trash to most, but here are the top 8 innovators who are tackling plastic pollution and changing the way people view and use plastics in their everyday lives.
An estimated figure of 100,000 marine mammals die from plastic pollution each year, the result of the 8 million tons of plastic that ends up in the ocean every year. It is now clearer than ever that plastic pollution is a major threat to the ocean and all life that depends on it, including us humans. The movement for marine conservation and ending plastic pollution is getting bigger each year, so let’s take a look at 8 social enterprises and non-governmental organisations that are leading the way to end plastic pollution.
(Photo by: Plastic Bank)
Plastic Bank is turning plastic waste into something valuable: currency.
Headquartered in Canada and operating in Haiti, Philippines, Indonesia and Brazil, the Plastic Bank helps impoverished communities earn extra money, and obtain necessities and services in exchange for plastic collected. Labelled Social Plastic®, and collectors are paid above the market rate to make a reasonable living for themselves. With this project, people are more inclined to collect and recycle the valuable plastic, instead of throwing it away to eventually end up in the ocean.
To date, the Plastic Bank has collected and recycled more than 9 million kg of ocean-bound plastic and has helped improve the quality of life for more than 4300 collectors worldwide.
In October 2019, SC Johnson announced its collaboration with Plastic Bank to establish 509 collection points in 5 countries, adding to the 9 collection centres already established by SC Johnson in Indonesia. Through this collaboration, Plastic Bank aims to collect 30,000 tons of plastic over the course of 3 years and provide income for collectors in the 5 countries. SC Johnson will start using 100% Social Plastic® to produce its Windex® bottles in Canada and the United States.
This collaboration between SC Johnson is amazing as not only is a multinational company embracing the model for sustainability but is also supporting the people living in improvised areas. This is a great role model for other companies to follow suit, and hopefully they will.
You can learn more about the amazing work of Plastic Bank here: https://plasticbank.com/
REMAKEHUB believes that waste can be remade into useful, sustainable materials and products, and they are dedicated to coming up with creative and innovative solutions for recycling waste in China. Founder Sissi Chao comes from a family of fast fashion clothing manufacturers, and after a 1 month internship in the family business, Sissi decided to quit. She saw the amount of waste generated by the fast fashion industry, and took the step to move her focus towards sustainability in fashion.
REMAKEHUB actively innovates to find ways to change the way trash is used and perceived. Last year, REMAKEHUB collaborated with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Arise Collective to turn around 500 kilograms of discarded fish nets into sustainable sunglasses, named ReefCycle. These glasses are named that as the nets are collected from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and by choosing to buy these glasses, people are able to support the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and save the lives of its wildlife.
REMAKEHUB is working on their sub-brand REFUTURE, where the sunglasses will have production journeys that are
fully traceable by consumers, from where the fishing nets were collected to the steps of the production process. This allows consumers to have a peace of mind that the products they buy are definitely from recycled fishing nets, allows them to share this part of their sustainability movement with their friends and family.
Other than sunglasses, REMAKEHUB also produces other fashion items from waste.
The work REMAKEHUB is doing has definitely made me rethink the way I purchase and discard fashion items, and you can learn more about REMAKEHUB’s initiatives here: http://www.remakehub.co/
Evo & Co.
Evo & Co., an Indonesian start-up, aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic, by offering companies and consumers alternatives that are sustainable to use. Evo & Co. boasts 2 brands under their wing: Evoware and Evoworld.
Evoware’s Seaweed packaging
(Photo by: Evo & Co.)
They have creatively turned to one of Indonesia’s farmed exports as an plastic alternative: seaweed. Using techniques invented by Dr. Noryawati Mulyono, S.Si., Evoware uses locally farmed seaweed to create packaging that can replace plastic.
(Photo by: Evo & Co.)
By utilising seaweed, Evoware is putting the planet first in many ways. Firstly, their seaweed packaging is edible, biodegradable and compostable. This way, the packaging can be used up completely, and none will end up polluting the environment even if they are thrown away. Secondly, the planted seaweed is able to absorb carbon dioxide in the water and slow the effects of ocean acidification. Seaweed also releases oxygen into the water to support life, and help to store the carbon dioxide that we humans produce. Other than the benefits for the planet, Evoware is also supporting the local seaweed farmers by buying seaweed from them at fair prices.
One of the first seaweed products made by Evoware is their Ello Jello edible cups, in a bid to reduce and replace the use of single-use plastic cups. Since then, Evoware has created more types of packaging that are edible and biodegradable, such as seaweed sachets for coffee and seasoning that will dissolve in water.
Learn more about Evo and Co. here: https://rethink-plastic.com/#