First Non-Shipping Company Joins Eyesea
German apparel manufacturer GOT BAG has become the first non-shipping company to join the Eyesea initiative. In 2016, GOT BAG started sourcing Ocean Impact Plastic, recycling it, and processing it into backpacks.
The company now works with a network of 2,500 fishermen and people in Indonesia collecting Ocean Impact Plastic. The material is then sorted and recycled into pellets which are then made into backpacks and other bags. For each bag approximately 2-10 pounds of Ocean Impact Plastic are collected – material that is either already threatening or likely to become a threat to the marine environment – depending on the size and design.
Eyesea founder Graeme Somerville-Ryan said “I’m grateful GOT BAG approached us. They bring experience we don’t have, and they have a deep understanding of clean up management, consumer outreach, recycling, and the circular economy. This is the ‘what do you do with the data’ side of the equation. It’s good to know the work our seafarers, volunteers, and companies are doing has attracted interest from outside the industry.”
GOT BAG’s Max Schmiel said “As we have seen working with fishermen, the maritime industries are a critical part of the ocean pollution solution. Effective and efficient pollution recovery needs to be based on scientific data and on-site experience.
“Of the newly produced plastics worldwide, around 9% are recycled, 12% are incinerated, and 79% end up in nature. Things cannot continue like this. We need to produce and use less plastic, improve waste infrastructure, recycle more, and collect plastic from the environment with clean-up programs. Gathering and analyzing data on the location and type of pollution is a very important part of building a commercial supply-chain driven solution and also helps with the approach of governmental stakeholders for project support. That is where we see real potential in the Eyesea idea.”
Eyesea has now collected over 120,000 data points from over 65 countries and territories.
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