Ocean Recovery Alliance

Plastic Catch and Offset Program

 

   

Plastic Catch and Offset Program

Platic Catch is a program created by the collaboration between Ocean Recovery Alliance and Waste2Wear in order to help remove plastic waste from our waters and ocean.  The program combines plastic offset commitments by companies, with plastic waste removal from our environment.   Companies that undertake the Plastic Disclosure Project can readily determine the amount of plastic they use in various parts of their business, as well as how much they recover, recycle or use recycled content, among other metrics.  This number can then be offset via our Plastic Catch programs which work with fishermen, villagers and local communities to remove plastic waste from our environment.  The offset value is US$1 per kilogram (2.2lbs) of plastic removed (or volume equivalent of one half of a garbage bag, if for light-weight materials). 

This can also be done at an individual level, if people want to contribute monthly or annualy to offset their own plastic use (and we all know that trying to avoid all plastic in all scenarios is incredibly difficult, so this is a way to help remove some of it in other locations that do not have good waste collection or recycling facilities).  Donations can be made via our Simply Giving, and these can be created as automatic monthly contributions.  Also, If your employer has a workplace giving program, your donation may be eligible for matching funds via Benevity.  If so, you can locate Ocean Recovery Alliance through your program giving site by searching the following unique identifier: 840-451347667 or our tax-ID (45-1347667). 

The program brings verified removal quantities of plastic waste to the offset program, via trusted partners in our collaborative activities.  The goal is to drive incentives, local awareness and education about the benefits of proper waste resource recovery and management, so that trash does not become an environmental burden.  This will include rewarding local, small-scale fishermen in different communities to remove litter from the sea, rivers or lakes when they are on the water going about their daily activities.  This will help to create a value chain which can augment some of their daily or weekly 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 trial of this program was in on Cheung Chau Island in Hong Kong, with future programs being established in Cambodia, China and other locations. 

                                     

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 companies or individuals who want to offset their plastic use. and want to know they can make a difference in areas where they might not have a touch-point today, or trusted partner to undertake such activities.  

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.  

 

 

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