Updated: May 26
Over the past few years, the online retail industry has been making strides to reduce its environmental impact. While the primary focus to date has been on offsetting carbon emissions, another offsetting practice is gaining traction, Plastic Offsetting. Virtue is very happy to announce a partnership with our newest impact partner, Seven Clean Seas.
How Do They Clean The 7 Seas?
How Big Of An Issue Is Ocean Plastic?
They say that everything is bigger in Texas, well there is an area more than twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean called the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' - Not Joking.
And, with over 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging flowing into our oceans every year (according to the World Economic Forum), we can only expect that number to increase. If you have ever taken a walk along a beach or river you know that the garbage is not limited to the Pacific Ocean.
And that's only the beginning. This plastic kills everything. We will save you the images of whales, turtles, and fish, that have been directly killed by ingesting plastic bags and straws. But, when plastics enter our waterways and food ecosystems, microplastics also enter our bodies.
Microplastics + Nanoplastics:
Kill Human Cells
Overall Just Suck
Thankfully, some great people have made it their mission to reduce plastic in our waterways...
Who Are Seven Clean Seas?
The team behind Seven Clean Seas is young, passionate, and ready to make the world a better place. Based out of Indonesia, their goal is to make ocean plastic a thing of the past and so far, they have removed more than 374,000kg of plastic from the marine environment.
Since 2018, Seven Clean Seas have invested in ocean clean-up operations focused on remote island infrastructure as well as the building and implementation of innovative river cleaning technology. Along with environmental consulting and plastic offsetting, the team behind Seven Clean Seas understands that ocean plastic prevention is even more important than ocean plastic removal.
Support 7 Clean Seas from sales with store and customer checkout donations. Virtue is an easy to set up charity donations app for eCommerce brands built on Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento.
How Do They Clean The 7 Seas?
£1.6 donated removes 1kg of plastic from water ecosystems
Seven Clean Seas removes plastic by building cleanup projects in some of the world’s most heavily plastic-polluted countries globally.
One project is located in the Riau Archipelago, Indonesia, where they work closely with the community, many of which had previously lost their tourism-related jobs (due to covid-19). Focusing on removing plastic directly from a large Marine Protected Area, this project has created good jobs on living wages and huge amounts of positive environmental impact.
Beyond this, Seven Clean Seas is preparing to launch its new river plastic recovery system. This project has been supported by Howden Group Holdings, Marina Bay Sands, BW LPG, ECCA Family Foundation and engineered by Longitude Engineering. 70% of plastic entering the oceans comes by way of a river, so with their new technology, Seven Clean Seas will be able to trap the plastic before it makes it into the ocean.
Seven Clean Seas offer many beneficial services.
First and foremost, they believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that preventing plastic from entering our waterways is the best way to ensure our water stays clean. To assist with this challenge, they also offer waste consultancy services to help to reduce your plastic footprint. However, we know that not everyone can be completely plastic-free overnight.
And this is why they also offer plastic offsetting.
What Is Plastic Offsetting?
Similar to emissions offsetting where a company can plant trees to offset their CO2 emissions, plastic offsetting is a way for companies with a plastic footprint to take out an equal (or greater) amount of plastic from the environment.
Seven Clean Seas is one of the world’s first companies that are able to offset plastic and provide plastic offsetting credits.
Their project in Bintan, Indonesia is certified to provide plastic credits by the standards of Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP), which is strictly audited by a third party, Control Union, through a series of assessments to make sure we provide fair working conditions to communities while ensuring we implement the proper collection. The certification ensures:
No Child Labour
No forced or compulsory labour
Compliance with National Law
Waste pickers are paid a fair wage
Ensure proper collection from the environment
Ensure the proper handling of waste
No leakage or re-release into the environment
Who is Working With Seven Clean Seas?
The past few years have seen plastic offsetting initiatives take centre stage, with major corporations offsetting their plastic footprint. In 2021, Iceland Foods invested £1.7M to go plastic-neutral for 2022. And it's not only retailers that are going plastic neutral, major events including the 2022 World Cup are working with Seven Clean Seas to offset any plastic waste generated during the tournament.
How Can I Get Involved?
If you would like to make plastic cleanup part of your online brand you can do so in just a few minutes with the Virtue Shopify App.
If you would like to learn more about plastic offsetting and purchase credits, feel free to reach out to the Seven Clean Seas team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.