Working together to recycle & help save the oceans

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Together we can all help to clean up the global crisis of plastic pollution in our seas – a crisis that is only growing every day. It’s estimated that a truckload of plastic waste reaches the ocean every minute1 - this is something we know needs to change.

Doing what’s right for people and the planet is important to us2. We know that globally we need to be more responsible in the way we handle waste and we know that one day we will reach a circular economy that manages this waste3 - but until that day, we won’t stop working towards leaving a better, more sustainable world for the next generation.

When it comes to plastic waste, we want to talk about our oceans specifically. This is because of the huge amount of discarded plastic that finds its way into our seas each and every day – and because, if we work together, we can give this waste and its collection a purpose.


Recycling plastic waste and providing opportunity

Ocean-bound plastic means any plastic collected within 50 kilometres of an ocean or waterway leading to an ocean, within a country with high volumes of uncollected plastic waste. This is important - and is somewhere that we saw a chance to help stop more plastic from reaching our oceans and to create opportunities for people in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

Unfortunately, many of these communities around the world simply don’t have the formal infrastructure for waste collection, let alone recycling. This is one of the main reasons why plastic finds its way into our waterways and oceans. Building ethical recycling ecosystems in these areas and beyond is crucial – but no company can do this alone.

This is why we partnered with Plastic Bank™, a conservation organisation that helps to prevent ocean plastic whilst improving the lives of those who collect it. We support Plastic Bank™ in a global partnership, which has seen the collection of 1 billion ocean-bound plastic bottles since 2018. More than this, we have committed to creating over 500 plastic collection points across the globe, with 379 already in place.

The partnership also creates opportunities to help support those living in the most disadvantaged communities, helping to fight poverty by enabling people to earn an income whilst working to help tackle the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. In total, the partnership has provided over 20,000 people with additional economic opportunities – all part of how we are working to do what is right, to help bring about both environmental and social change.

Giving life to old plastic

Going beyond post-consumer recycled plastic, we can give new life to all this collected waste. Using this plastic in our products allows us to help create new markets for materials that may otherwise end up discarded in our oceans. We do this by purchasing the pellets created from the ocean-bound plastic collected and by using these to replace virgin plastic in our products.

At SC Johnson, bottle bodies made from 100% recycled ocean-bound plastic have been launched, with Windex in North America and Mr Muscle in the UK and Ireland.

And we know we can go further. By bringing these sustainable innovations to the professional space, we’re leading the way and showing that businesses can make a change. We’ll soon be unveiling a powerful choice that can drive real change and will resonate with facility managers and users globally.

At Interclean 2022, we’ll be launching this exciting next new development as we work together to use less, recycle more, be more responsible – and stop more plastic from reaching our oceans.