Insights / Sustainability

Ocean-Bound Plastic: Turning Waste Into Opportunity

Ocean-bound plastic is recovered within 30 miles of a coastline or collected from beaches and coastal waterways.

Ocean-bound plastic refers to plastic waste at risk of entering the ocean. It is recovered from within 30 miles of a coastline or collected from beaches and coastal waterways.

Ocean-bound plastic is not plastic waste salvaged from the ocean. Sunlight, salt water, and other factors degrade ocean plastic waste, making it unsuitable for recycling into post-consumer recycled (PCR) content.

Why Ocean-Bound Plastic Is Important

About 10 million metric tons of plastic pollute the ocean annually. By weight, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Ocean plastic harms our ecosystem, marine life, and the food chain. Capturing the plastic before it enters the ocean can help to resolve the global plastic waste crisis and provide income opportunities to local communities.

Ocean-Bound Plastic Facts

  • Ocean-bound plastic is collected from locations in developing countries lacking solid waste management systems. The recovered plastic can then be sent to recycling facilities and repurposed into new materials.

  • To ensure the validity of ocean-bound plastic, several organizations certify that plastic waste is correctly collected and managed. These certification providers can verify where the material was collected, who collected it, and how and where it was sorted to ensure it meets quality, ethical, environmental, and labor standards.

  • Because PCR content from ocean-bound plastics is about three times pricier than virgin resins, the applications for these recycled resins tend to be in products with higher price margins, such as personal care and household care.

Case Studies: DevaCurl and Kenra

Berlin Packaging's design and innovation center, Studio One Eleven, helped DevaCurl add 50% ocean-bound HDPE to their packaging

Berlin Packaging's innovation and design center, Studio One Eleven, helped DevaCurl introduce more responsible packaging through using 50% ocean-bound HDPE in a custom bottle with the brand's signature green color. The matte-finish bottles are topped with custom curly disc-top caps made with 100% PCR plastic.

For Kenra's Sugar Beach shampoo and conditioner packaging, the Studio team created a sleek bottle made from 100% ocean-bound plastic with soft curves and an elongated neck, resembling the silhouette of a wine bottle.

Berlin Packaging Partners with Prevented Ocean Plastics

Berlin Packaging has partnered with Prevented Ocean Plastic™, the world's leading ocean plastic prevention program, to offer our customers high-quality recycled plastic packaging that makes a difference for the environment and local communities.

Berlin Packaging has partnered with Prevented Ocean Plasticâ„¢

Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is recycled plastic collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution. By definition, this ocean-bound plastic would likely end up in the ocean if not collected for recycling. Choosing Prevented Ocean Plastic™ helps mitigate plastic pollution while meeting PCR packaging goals and promoting a circular economy.

Explore related topics: Life-Cycle Assessment, PCR Content, Compostable Packaging, Container Deposit/Refund Programs, Refillable & Reusable Packaging, Mechanical and Advanced Recycling, and Bioplastic

Robert Swientek

By: Robert Swientek
Date: June 27, 2023

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