ReSea Project, a Danish company aiming to put an end to ocean plastic, has become the second organisation in the world to be certified after a new international standard - the Chain of Custody Standard for Plastics Retrieved in the Hydrosphere - by assurance and risk management company DNV GL.
DNV GL awarded its first such certification last year to The Ocean Cleanup, a Netherlands-based engineering environmental organisation that is developing ocean cleanup technologies. The Ocean Cleanup also contributed to the development of the new standard, in which requirements have been formulated designed to ensure the highest level of traceability of plastic recovered from oceans and rivers. The product certification provides proof of compliance.
“There is a growing market need to provide trust and transparency in claims. An independent third party like us verifies the origin and traceability of recovered plastic against established requirements in the standard,” said Antonio Astone, Global Service Manager Assurance and Supply Chain at DNV GL.
For ReSea Project, the certification is an important step in scaling the cleanup efforts in Indonesia, the world’s second-largest contributor to ocean plastic pollution.
“The impact of our cleanup is solely dependent on companies funding our mission. Choosing DNV GL and completing the certification is an important milestone for our continuous operations, as it will provide the trust and certainty needed to support us, enabling us to extract plastic at a greater scale. Something that is crucial in the efforts against the ocean plastic crisis”, explained Ann Sofie Gade, head of Business Development at ReSea Project.
Such traceability and transparency must be built from the start of the value chain and requires an end-to-end verification process from extraction offshore to the onshore landing, transportation, manufacturing and sales.
Blockchain service provider VeChain’s platform, Toolchain, is used to trace the entire collection journey of the plastic from the extraction point, sorting the plastic, and the onwards journey until delivery to a local waste bank. This provides a digital tracking system that secures real-time data and tracks all steps within the scope of certification, allowing DNV GL to digitally monitor and audit all plastic collections from anywhere in the world.
The high level of traceability provides proof of the plastic’s source and authenticity certified by an independent third party, creating a level of transparency into the collection process that enables trust.
ReSea Project is tackling the ocean plastic crisis with its community-driven solution where people in local communities in Indonesia, often characterized by poor waste management and low-income, are employed to remove plastic waste from rivers and oceans.
”The certification verifies the plastic extraction and quantities, which helps ensure fair compensation to the cleanup team and provides transparency into the collection process, ” said Astone.
The chain of custody standard by DNV GL, the first of its kind, is public and available to any organisation for application and certification.