Seven Clean Seas Achieves Positive Milestone to Tackle Plastic Pollution
Seven Clean Seas, a British-founded environmental organisation, is proud to announce a significant achievement in its mission to combat global plastic pollution. Since its inception in July 2020, Seven Clean Seas has successfully removed a staggering 2,206,079 kilograms of plastic waste from the world’s oceans through a total of 1,886 cleanup efforts.
Put into perspective, this is the equivalent of 184 double decker busses, which when lined up, would stretch from Buckingham Palace to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Seven Clean Seas is on a mission to make our oceans cleaner and healthier. Their ambitious goal is to remove 10 million kilograms of plastic waste from the ocean by 2025, while also providing sustainable livelihoods for the 200 workers involved in the cleanup operations.
The composition and weight of the collected plastic waste reveals the diverse sources of ocean pollution that Seven Clean Seas is addressing, from Polyester textiles (36%), personal care items (9%), sandals (5%) product packaging (8%) and plastic bags (8%), to food wrapping (3%), plastic cups & plates (2%) and plastic drinks bottles (1%).
With Polyester textiles providing the highest percentage of ocean pollution is it time to phase out the use of Polyester, including recycled Polyester, within the garment industry?
Oli, Seven Clean Seas Technical Director, responded: “Good and bad are all relative terms. Of course, using material that has been recycled is better than using virgin material…It extends the lifetime of the fibres and reduces the use of virgin material. However, it’s not that simple, and if we consider the wider impact, the use of recycled polyester fibres may not be the best solution at the moment.
“In the context of fashion, it is a far better approach to designing the use of problematic material use. For example, focusing on natural fibres which are sustainably sourced, such as cotton, hemp and wool, which can biodegrade back into organic matter. Using recycled polyester is okay if we are able to keep recycling the material through closed-loop recycling or until we have an oversupply of recycled plastic on the market. In the meantime, we should invest in recycling technology that will be able to recycle textiles, including blended fibres.”
Seven Clean Seas are also helping other responsible brands in reducing their plastic consumption as well as collaborating with them on a number of clean-up projects. The collaboration with the Soulfresh Group contributed to removing more than 1.300.000 PET bottles from the marine environment.
Didi Lo, Founder of Soulfresh Group (Lo Bros Not soda) said: “In embarking on this project, we knew that having the right partner would be crucial. It was a non-negotiable that our impact partner needed to both have a shared vision for change, but also the ability to deliver on our commitments at scale.
Hayley Langston, Head of Social Impact at Howden Groupalso commented: “What began with a beach clean-up in Singapore has grown to become a very important global partnership. To date, Seven Clean Seas has helped us prevent over 250,000kgs of plastic from reaching our oceans. We work with the team to estimate our global plastic footprint and to offset the equivalent, and, importantly, they’re helping us to reduce our plastic footprint through presentations and other brilliant educational resources. In the past year, they have helped us to achieve the Ocean Bound Plastic Neutral Certification for our headquarters – something we’re really proud of.”
To find out more about Seven Clean Seas tap here
Intro image by Lucas Meneses – Pexels.com