Turning Ocean Legacy Plastic into Useful Items
Ocean Legacy Foundation has created Ocean Legacy Plastic, commercially available plastic pellets made out of 100% post-consumer plastics.
Plastic has made a significant impact on our lives; almost everything we use on a day-to-day basis is made out of plastic. And while some of these items can be recycled, most cannot due to the nature of many plastics. As a result, they end up in our landfills and our oceans. The rate of plastic entering our oceans is rapid and is predicted to rise 2.6 times by 2040 if it is not adequately monitored.
But what will happen to the legacy ocean plastic already in the oceans? One non-profit, the Ocean Legacy Foundation, has created a solution that uses the plastic that is recovered from ocean and beach cleanups and gives it an economic value that stimulates the plastic circular economy. The organization has created the first commercially available plastic pellet in North America called Ocean Legacy Plastic.
The pellet is made from 100% post-consumer plastics from recovered marine gear, including buoys, fishing ropes, oyster trays and other marine products. The sourced plastic materials are found along the Pacific Coast through Ocean Legacy depots, shoreline cleanups, and ocean recovery expeditions. All the materials collected are cleaned, segregated and processed using their own technology to ensure that the resins are high-quality for direct manufacturing applications.
Ocean Legacy Plastic Foundation has recently partnered with Full Circle Plastics from Nobelford, Alberta, to give these plastic items a new life and value. The plastic pellets are being used in commercial, industrial and residential construction. They are replacing traditional lumber in applications such as planter boxes, agriculture fence posts, outdoor decking construction, and a selection of outdoor furniture. Full Circle Plastics’ products require no maintenance, are waterproof, don’t rot and, importantly, keep plastic out of the environment, landfills and waterways.
The organization has also partnered with Origami Paddler to make paddleboards and kayaks, LUSH to make black product pots and containers, Whistler Performance Lubricants to make bio-based lubricant recyclable containers, and will soon see their plastic in certain models of Tideman Boats. Ocean Legacy Foundation also prides itself on the tracking and traceability of its plastics. Everything can be traced back to their shore cleanups, fishing and aquaculture operations and the ocean-recovered plastic waste.
The Ocean Legacy Plastic Foundation is committed to teaching people about the issues surrounding pollution in the water and helping them develop solutions. They combine their best-practice plastic management strategies with the needs of communities and the planet’s health. They advocate for better programs and practices around the world. They are also committed to helping countries acquire adequate infrastructure to manage waste. And finally, they are committed to action-based engagement, which involves cleaning up the oceans and restoring environments.
This non-profit is taking the necessary steps to help us get ocean legacy plastic out of the oceans and give unwanted items a new life. While the ultimate solution must be to avoid throwing plastic into the oceans, these are important tactics for cleaning up the water and contributing to a plastic circular economy.