This company turns plastic waste into cash
Selling plastic waste… for a profit… to better our earth? A Singapore-based organisation has nailed it
A Singapore-based company is tackling the gargantuan issue of freeing our oceans of marine plastic. But it’s not stopping there. Seven Clean Seas is also working towards developing a first-of-its-kind plastic offsetting programme. This pioneering operation aims to establish an economically viable and scalable funding mechanism that enables ocean plastic recovery and prevention programmes to be undertaken.
Seven Clean Seas plans to eventually operate in seven of the world’s top plastic-polluting countries in a bid to recover an astounding 10 million kilograms of ocean plastic by 2025. So far, the team behind this virtuous endeavour has established two on-going projects: an ocean plastic recovery and interception model in Bintan, Indonesia, and the creation of river plastic recovery technology.
In Bintan, the Riau Archipelago Project has seen an ocean clean-up crew collecting the marine plastic within a 1.2 million-hectare protected area. The crew consists of hospitality workers, including those employed by resorts on Nikoi and Cempedak Islands, but who are unable to work due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Seven Clean Seas is now striving to scale up this project to encompass community-level plastic interception and the creation of a material sorting facility. The organisation’s second initiative, its River Plastic Recovery System, is being developed in partnership with Marina Bay Sands and Howden Group with the aim of installing this river clean-up technology by the end of 2021. As much as 70 per cent of ocean plastic originate from rivers.
These projects are only made possible by the funding received through the initiative’s Plastic Offsetting model. This set-up enables companies to achieve plastic neutrality by purchasing plastic credits – not unlike carbon credits – generated from the projects to offset their necessary plastic consumption against the physical recovery of plastic waste. With 300 million tonnes of plastic produced annually, initiatives like this are essential to the recovery and reintegration of plastic into the circular economy.