Plastic Catch Program
Platic Catch is a program created by the collaboration between Ocean Recovery Alliance and Waste2Wear in order to help remove litter from the ocean. The program creates a circular system within our society by using the value of corporate recycling resources in order to reward small scale fishermen in different communities to remove litter from the sea when they are on the water going about their daily activities. This creates a value chain which is helpful to augment income, while empowering them at the same time, and educating those around them. The circulatory system also functions as a social driver at the corporate and community level, where often the incentive to recycle is not high enough, or where trust is lacking in terms of how effective recycling actually is in a given jurisdiction. Its first launch location was Cheung Chau Island in Hong Kong.
How it Works
Fishermen are the people who are at sea, day and night, and can be those impacted by plastic in their fishing grounds. Plastic Catch will inspire fishermen to help the ocean environment they survive from, by giving them an alternative source of income in the form of collecting plastic waste from the sea. The material collected is delivered at a certain time of the week to one of the local fishing markets/ports where there is a volunteer set-up arranged to collect the material. At this point, the material is weighed, and a reward in the form of cash or coupon is given on a per-kilo, or bag, basis.
The refund will vary per country, but in the case of Hong Kong, the amount will be HK$5/kg (US$.65). The plastic which can be recycled will then be sorted by the volunteers, and the remaining waste will be put in the municipal waste collection system.
Funds for Plastic Catch will be generated from large scale collection of plastic bottles or other recyclable plastic from companies and institutions who want to make good use of their resources to help a specific cause, which rarely happens today. In this case, the fishermen, and ocean, are direct recipients of the designation of plastic bottles to the Plastic Catch program. The revenues made from selling the plastic bottles or other materials for recycling will be used to help fund the rewards given to the fishermen.
Another way that funds are generated is from the sale of products created by Waste2Wear and their materials made from recycled PET plastic bottles. This includes shirts, uniforms, hats, linens, pillows and much more, so that companies can also be wearing their "story" of ocean recovery and waste reduction.