Ocean plastic is particularly hard to recycle

  Ocean plastic is particularly hard to recycle because it is so contaminated. It can only be recycled if contains a maximum of 5% of impurities, which is difficult to achieve with plastic collected from massive saltwater bodies.

  Downstream recycling works, right?

  Ocean plastic unfortunately photo-degenerates when it’s been under the sun for too long. It can become tainted with salt, sand and sea life which form their own ecosystems on its surface. Even when the plastic is industrially cleaned, sand can still be identified at a microscopic level. By being exposed to salty water and sun for such a long period of time, ocean plastic loses its qualities and simply can’t be recycled into high quality products.

  Even The Ocean Cleanup stated in 2019 that it planned to burn some of the plastic collected from the Pacific Ocean because “not all plastics collected will be recyclable to new products”. Rather, it would be burned to generate electricity – a controversial move given that burning plastic waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

  Recycled ocean plastic: the noble myth

  While collecting plastic from the ocean and recycling it into products is an admirable idea, it is simply not a sustainable approach to combating the global plastic problem. Companies that sell so-called recycled ocean plastic products are misleading, as most of them are crafted from ocean bound plastic or simply recycled plastic sourced somewhere on land. What is required is coordinated strategy to educate consumers on the harmful effects of plastic, including the use of green alternatives, and fostering a culture that encourages and rewards a zero waste life.


  Here at TOMbag, we’re part of the movement to shift consumers away from single-use plastic bags (which end up in our oceans on a devastating scale) towards sustainable alternatives. We offer a truly reusable bin liner you can use to ensure that a garbage bag you use never again ends up in our oceans.

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