What is ocean bound plastic? Is this another greenwashing trick?
Have you come across products made from ocean plastic? There is an expanding range of products being made from “ocean plastic” but under closer inspection, it is in fact made from “ocean-bound plastic.
What does 100% ocean bound plastic mean?
According to @zero.plastic.oceans – Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP) is plastic waste defined as “at risk of ending up in the ocean”. OBP is estimated to generate 80% of plastic marine litter. It includes:
🔵 a small fraction of commercially recyclable plastic waste
🔵 a lot of non-commercially recyclable plastic waste
OBP is an “Abandoned Plastic Waste” (microplastics, mezzo-plastics and macro-plastics), located within 50km from shores where waste management is inexistent or inefficient. When already located in a landfill or managed dump site, the plastic waste is not considered as OBP. However, when abandoned in an uncontrolled or informal dump site, this waste is considered as OBP.
Ocean Plastic vs Ocean Bound Plastic
Consumers expect that if they are buying a product made from ocean plastic the plastic has been retrieved from the ocean. Ocean bound plastic has never been in the ocean and is a tricky way of making the product seem like it is achieving more than it is in reality AKA greenwashing.
Is Ocean Bound Plastic Greenwashing?
It is fantastic that plastic waste is being reused to make new products rather than reaching the ocean BUT if this is being claimed as “Ocean Plastic” on the packaging and in marketing we feel that this is misleading.
The term ocean bound plastic has come under scrutiny for potentially being misleading, as it suggests a responsible approach to plastic waste management. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is currently investigating these claims following a complaint lodged by environmental advocates. They argue that products labelled as “ocean-bound plastic” may not be as sustainable as they appear.
The term can encompass plastics collected up to 50 kilometres from the coast, making it challenging to verify the actual environmental benefits. Thus, while the initiative may seem noble, it raises questions about its effectiveness and authenticity. For more information, read this ABC News article discussing the ACCC’s ongoing investigation.
Is ocean bound plastic recyclable?
Ocean-bound plastic can be both recyclable and non-recyclable, depending on the type of plastic and its condition. Some organizations specialize in collecting ocean-bound plastic to recycle it into new products. However, not all ocean-bound plastic is commercially recyclable due to factors like degradation, contamination, or the specific type of plastic. When collected, this plastic is sorted, and the recyclable portions are processed accordingly, while the non-recyclable portions may be managed through other waste management methods.
Ocean Plastic – Nurdles
One of the biggest forms of plastic pollution in our oceans is nurdles. These tiny plastic pellets are polymers which are used to create plastic products. As the manufacturing and transport of them is very unregulated they often end up spilling into the ocean.
Say No To Plastic
In conclusion, while the idea of ocean-bound plastic might seem like a step in the right direction, it’s far from a silver bullet for solving the ocean plastic crisis. The term itself can be misleading, often serving more as a greenwashing tactic than creating a substantial environmental impact. T
he best way to address this issue isn’t through recycling schemes that might just serve to ease our collective conscience; rather, it’s by saying no to plastic in the first place. For more insights on genuinely sustainable alternatives, check out our ideas on making conscious choices. Let’s focus on making truly sustainable decisions rather than falling for marketing tactics that may do more harm than good.