When the plastic of the oceans ends up in rays

FIGARO DEMAIN – Making articles from waste collected near shores, avoiding sea pollution, is becoming a real market.

Backpacks, wallets, dog leashes… The plastic recovered from the seas, near rivers or the shore, known as Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP), represents a new manufacturing material for many everyday objects. As nearly 8.8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans each year, choking turtles and other marine life, more and more businesses are popping up across the world to collect, recycle, and turn them into finished products. . This is the case with Mon Exports, which manufactures 6,000 backpacks per month in India – each from 20 to 25 bottles – which it sells in the United States and Germany in particular. It is the company Plastics for Change which collects, with 12,000 collectors on its own account, the plastic within a radius of 15 kilometers around the water, in the south of the country. “There are more and more requests from businesses. But this plastic is quite expensive, which can represent a barrier for some ”, explique Shifrah Jacobs, responsable impact de Plastics for Change.

These two companies have received the Ocean Bound Plastic label from Zero Plastic Oceans. “Waste must be collected near the shores, collection must be carried out in a socially responsible manner, in particular prohibiting child labor or forced labor. In addition, collection and recycling must not lead to the creation of plastics which in turn risk polluting the shores ”, specifies Vincent Decap, co-founder of the French NGO which launched this certification.

Since then, it has been granted to twenty companies, mainly in India, Southeast Asia and the United States. About twenty others are in the process of being certified. 5% of audited companies did not receive the label. “Its objective is to support the development of this new sector by convincing large companies of the positive environmental and social impact of the use of this plastic. It is still a small market in terms of volume whereas there is a strong potential for growth which would make it possible to prevent pollution of the oceans ”, highlights Vincent Decap. Iconic brands are interested in it, such as Adidas with the NGO Parley for the Oceans, or Mattel with its “Barbie loves the ocean” range. “Marketing is easier with certification. We are approached more and more by large companies such as Body Shop ”, says Biswadeep Ghosh, head of Mon Exports. Perhaps we will soon see cosmetics appear on the shelves in plastic containers from a newly clean beach …


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