If you’ve been enjoying the Olympic Games this year, you may have noticed some very interesting information regarding the Team GB artistic swimming duet of Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe and their costumes – they’re made from recycled ocean plastics, otherwise known as Prevented Ocean Plastic, or Ocean Bound Plastic!
If you’ve read our blog post on our Top 5 Eco-Friendly Fabrics to Add to your Wardrobe, you’ll know that at RAINE Clothing, we’re no strangers to utilising recycled plastic that could have otherwise made its way into oceans or landfills, so we thought we’d give you a little more information on exactly what Prevented Ocean Plastic is, and why it’s such an incredible material!
What is Prevented Ocean Plastic?
Prevented Ocean Plastic, or Ocean Bound Plastic, is single-use plastic that is collected from coastal areas which are at high risk of pollution; this is plastic that would, if not for intervention, likely end up in the ocean, causing further harm to this important ecosystem. In fact, it’s actually estimated that about 80% of plastics currently polluting oceans worldwide come from land-based sources!
These single-use plastics, usually in the form of plastic bottles, have usually been dropped into water or beach areas as litter, and are mostly collected by volunteers, to prevent them from making it to the ocean and doing further damage there. This is because, due to the nature of ocean water, which contains high quantities of salt, single-use plastics become degraded and completely unviable for recycling, meaning that even if it were possible for these bottles to be removed from the ocean, they would just end up at a landfill and further contributing to greater pollution.
Experts currently define Prevented Ocean Plastic as plastic which is found within 30 miles of a coastal area or a major waterway which feeds into the ocean, but this definition does also include plastic which could in some way otherwise harm marine life.
Most commonly, these plastics are found to be harming water across South East Asia, South America, and the Galapagos Islands, the Mediterranean, Central America, and the Carribean, so it’s truly a worldwide issue.
What can I do to help?
The most simple answer is: recycle! Whilst these schemes are a great way to deal with the growing waste problem we’re facing globally, recycling your single used plastics is by far the best way to do your bit, so these plastics aren’t likely to end up in bodies of water in the first place!
Aside from that, as with most eco-friendly and sustainable materials, the more demand there is, the more recycling processes will be prioritised, and the more these recycled ocean plastics can be utilised! Luckily, there are lots of ways in which various companies are getting involved with these schemes, so you will be able to make some changes that can help! For example, some supermarkets are now getting involved in incorporating these recycled ocean plastics into their packaging, so it’s always worth doing your research and keeping your eye out for the Prevented Ocean Plastics logo where possible!
Another option to help this important cause is to try and purchase more recycled plastic products, such as rPET (recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) or recycled Polyester, which are made from two of the largest contributors to Ocean Bound Plastic!
There’s plenty to be done and lots of global organisations to help, so please do try and get involved if possible.
We hope you found this information useful, and we’re so delighted that Team GB’s artistic swimming duet have chosen to opt for recycled ocean plastic costumes this year, to further highlight this incredibly important cause.
If you’d like to find out more about these recycled ocean plastics, please head over to preventedoceanplastic.com, where you can also find out what you can do to help!