On the occasion of World Oceans Day, Control Union and Zero Plastic Oceans are joining forces to launch the world’s first third party verified label to avoid Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP) waste reaching marine environments: The Ocean Bound Plastic Certification. Based on international environmental standards and label best practices, this certification aims to capture OBP – plastic abandoned in the natural environment bound to end up in oceans – while rethinking the plastic value chain.
To celebrate 2020 World Oceans Day (June 8th), Control Union and Zero Plastic Oceans innovate for a Sustainable Ocean and are introducing together the world’s first third party verified Ocean Bound Plastic Certification. The certification covers collection and recycling of abandoned plastic waste near rivers or shores, known as Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP)1 before it becomes ocean plastic pollution.
80% of ocean plastics comes from land-based sources and a large percentage is plastic waste abandoned in areas where – due to rainfall, tides, and winds – is bound to be drawn to oceans (shores, riverbanks and rivers). OBP is the major source of ocean plastic pollution and collecting it is the most efficient and economical urgent solution to this major environmental issue.
Aimed at private companies, NGOs and financial supporters, this unique certification is a direct and effective way to address the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goal 14 (“Conserve and sustainably use the oceans’’). The program has been conceived in a global manner, compliant with local and regional regulatory frameworks, making it rapidly implementable and providing visible results in the short term.
The Ocean Bound Plastic Certification relies on three pillars:
- Collecting OBP focusing on critical areas;
- Ensuring the proper management of collected OBP (recycling, and/or valorization and/or correct final disposal);
- Increasing the stream volume and value of recycled OBP plastic.
The Ocean Bound Plastic Certification program is available for a wide range of stakeholders, private companies, authorities and NGOs that can be collectors, traders, recyclers, polymer manufacturers, packaging manufacturers or producers of plastic products. This certification is intended for any organization willing to support the collection and incorporation of OBP plastic into their products.
“At Control Union, we are taking action to support a resilient and safe ocean, in line with our policy of supporting environmental standards and certifications. The Ocean Bound Plastic Certification is based on environmental and social requirements and a full verification of the chain of custody for the collection and recycling of OBP until the final product. The standard set by Zero Plastic Oceans is a new step towards transparency and quality in the field of OBP recycling and valorization. This OBP label is a key tool to reduce ocean pollution and give certainty to final consumers that they are purchasing a product that really helps the oceans,” explained Robert Demianew, Vice President for North America.
The NGO Zero Plastic Oceans has conceived a model called ZPO Initiative, based on the use of the OBP certification. In this model, certified companies belonging to the plastic industry mandate NGOs -which will also be certified – to manage the OBP collection on their behalf. Once OBP collection is carried out, the recyclable portion of collected plastic is sold to recycling companies giving it a second life, while the non-recyclable portion is correctly valorized or properly disposed. This Initiative is aiming at turning off the tap on marine litter by giving the plastic industry an efficient and low-cost tool to implement rapidly.
“This certification is not only an environmental label certifying the origin and chain of custody of OBP for the recycling market; if used widely by the plastic industry, it is also a powerful tool to reduce marine contamination caused by plastic waste mismanagement. We all know that oceans are under great threat from plastic pollution while 40% of the global population directly depends on the ocean making it urgent to take actions. This label is an opportunity to implement an inclusive solution where everyone; industry, NGOs and consumers, play a key role” Said Vincent Decap, Zero Plastic Oceans Co-Founder.
The Ocean Bound Plastic Certification program has been developed in collaboration with companies from the recycling market like Oceanworks (International OBP sale platform) or Heng Hiap Industries (Malaysian plastic recycling leader), and other NGOs involved in ocean protection. The program is open for applications and all relevant information can be found on the website www.obpcert.org.