By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Each year, an average of eight million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean. Now, many big companies are hoping to help do something about it.
Last year, tech company HP joined a coalition called NextWave Plastics founded by Dell and the nonprofit Lonely Whale to start recycling the plastic from the sea and turn it into practical items such as HP’s own ink cartridges.
HP also began working in Haiti in partnership with Thread, a company that turns plastic bottles into materials for clothing and shoes.
But a lot of plastic waste from different countries still end up in the oceans. Another effort to address the problem is by using less plastic overall. For example, furniture company Ikea plans to phase out the selling of single-use plastic items in their stores.
Other companies are also doing their part by using plastic headed to or already in the ocean by turning them into products which range from skateboards to carpet tiles. Humanscale even recycled old fishing nets found in the ocean and turned them into an office chair.
This joint effort from big companies is to help society see plastic as something valuable and not just waste. The recycling of plastic materials can mean that there is less of it ending up in the sea and instead be turned into another product.