Ocean-bound, or coastal plastic refers to the mountain of plastic waste in the coastal communities of the world that is prevented from reaching the ocean thanks to the collection efforts of - for the most part - informal waste pickers in those communities. More specifically, it is post-consumer recycled plastic collected on land within 50 km of an ocean.
These efforts notwithstanding, eight million tonnes of plastic reach the world’s oceans every year, equating to a rubbish truck full of plastic being dumped into the ocean every minute. To halt this process, infrastructure that stops plastic before it gets into the ocean is urgently needed.
One of the leading organisations working to achieve precisely that is Plastic Bank. Plastic Bank does so by identifying vulnerable coastlines across the world that need plastic collection infrastructure, establishing collection branches and helping to gather collection communities together. The plastic that is collected is exchanged at the collection branches by members for benefits and income. The collection community members gather plastic waste directly from local beaches, riverbanks, neighbourhoods, and even households. All are registered through the blockchain-secured Plastic Bank app that records every transaction, ensuring full traceability and transparency. The collected plastic is forwarded to processors for reprocessing into feedstock.
The US-based, family-owned manufacturer of skincare, professional cleaning and hygiene products, SC Johnson, first partnered with Plastic Bank in 2018, before in 2019 entering a 3-year agreement to create a total of 509 plastic collection points across the globe.
By January 2022, Plastic Bank had successfully stopped the equivalent of two billion plastic bottles from entering the world's oceans. The partnership with SC Johnson accounted for more than half, with more than 20 million kilograms of plastic, or the equivalent of one billion plastic bottles, stopped from disrupting ocean ecosystems.
Meanwhile, SC Johnson Professional also launched 100% recycled recovered coastal plastic bottles in two of its cleaning brands: Windex in North America and Mr Muscle in the U.K. and Ireland. The company is now moving beyond bottles, with the recent launch of a new washroom soap dispenser made from 70% recovered coastal plastic.
Each SCJ Professional Proline WAVE 1 litre washroom soap dispenser is the equivalent of 16 x 500ml waste plastic bottles collected in these coastal areas. It can be used with the full range of SC Johnson Professional foam soaps.
Market research conducted by the company amongst facility management professionals revealed that 91% of respondents believed that their choice of a skin care dispenser can contribute to meeting their business’s sustainability targets, according to SC Johnson Professional CEO Katja von Raven.
“So, by leading the way with our new dispenser made from 70% recovered coastal plastic, we are allowing our customers to act immediately on a topic they and their people care about.”
SC Johnson is a 132-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world.