Contributing to Waste Free Oceans
One of the greatest threats to our valuable water resource is we humans ourselves. Because it is we who, according to NABU (Nature Conservation Union Germany), dump up to 10 million tons of waste in our waters every year. An estimated 8 million tons of this is plastic waste, which often takes up to 600 years to decompose. According to UNEP, up to 18,000 pieces of plastic are floating on the surface of the sea per square kilometer. The garbage costs the lives of up to 100,000 marine mammals and a million seabirds every year. In addition, there are the tiny, microplastic particles that are almost unrecognizable to the eye. Small plastic particles that not only get into our own body, but also into the water cycle, for example via conventional cosmetics.
Meet our new GOOD WATER PROJECTS project
Time to change something: As part of the expansion of our new waterless bar product line, without water as an ingredient, we are working together with the NGO " Waste Free Oceans " for a smart, circular cleaning of the oceans - loosely based on the "Waste-to -Value” principle. The NGO, founded in 2011, has set itself the goal of entering into partnerships with companies and industries to remove and recycle plastic from the world's oceans and rivers. On the one hand, the organization contributes to reducing the amount of waste and at the same time promotes the expansion of a global circular economy. "Waste Free Oceans" is active worldwide - from Asia to Europe to the Caribbean and America.
The NGO uses the existing resources that are active in the water every day: fishing boats. With a special trawl net attached to regular fishing boats - called "trash catchers" - between 2 and 8 tons of plastic waste are automatically caught from the water surface with each trip. The focus is particularly on old fishing nets, as these can be used particularly well as new recyclables due to their high-quality basic material. In order not to pose any danger to marine life, care was taken when developing the coarse-meshed nets that they only protrude 70cm deep into the water in order to only catch plastic containers floating on the surface. The jointly financed catchers are currently deployed mainly in Europe, with a particular focus on the Mediterranean and the Danube region around Bulgaria and Romania.
Making value instead of waste
Together with various recycling partners from the industry, the NGO ensures that the collected plastic waste is then sorted, cleaned and divided into different polymer types. The high value PET is collected while the rest of the 'catch' is properly disposed of. The retained plastic is then sent to recycling partners who melt it down into smaller pellets. Depending on need and use, the pellets are combined with other polymers in order to create a new, stable and high-quality new product. In the past, the NGO has already been able to create special ocean plastic products with partners such as Ecover and Henkel.
Our cooperation with "Waste Free Oceans" starts on World Water Day 2019 with the financing of the first "Trash Catcher" operations in Europe. The project is financed in part by our sales proceeds from our limited Waterless Face & Body Wash Bar and our campaign T-shirt. An expansion of the partnership over the course of the year and the joint creation of an ocean plastic product are planned.
Biodegradability of Ocean Plastics
600 years for a fishing net, 200 years for an aluminum can and up to 10 years for a single cigarette butt - according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) our waste often takes hundreds of years to be completely broken down. At the same time, plastic production and plastic consumption are constantly increasing. According to expert estimates, they should even double in the next ten years. According to forecasts, up to 250 million tons of ocean plastic could be floating in the sea in less than 10 years. The European Parliament is therefore declaring war on single-use plastic in particular: from 2021, plastic waste such as water bottles, straws and plastic cups will be banned throughout Europe. At the same time, it should be ensured that 90% of the single-use water bottles used are recycled - these currently make up around 70% of marine waste.