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Frequently Asked Questions

About the product

Are products made with #tide durable and safe to use?

Yes. Our 100% compliance with the international standards REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) demonstrates that products made with #tide granules are safe to wear and use every day. On top of that we have reached FDA and Toy Safety Standard on some of our material grades. 

What certifications does #tide have?

#tide granules are compliant with REACH and RoHS regulations.

#tide has passed several tests by FGS/TÜV Süd, amongst others it has been proven skin-friendly. TÜV Süd has also successfully tested a batch of #tide ocean material's rPET to meet food grade standards.

Tide Ocean SA has passed audits and been certified with

  • the Global Recycle Standard (GRS) by Control Union

  • the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) by Control Union

  • the Ocean Bound Plastic Certification (OBP) by Zero Plastic Oceans (ZPO).

What happens to the #tide products after we can no longer use them?

Every product comes to the end of its lifetime at some point. That goes for re-generated plastic, too. We ask every consumer to recycle their #tide product – and other plastic products! – using designated household trash collection centers or curbside recycling services.

About the mission

What exactly is ocean-bound plastic? 

The first definition of ocean-bound plastic (OBP) waste was introduced by Jenna Jambeck et al. in a publication in the "Science" magazine in 2015. The study examines the impact of land-based plastic waste on marine habitats; it gives an estimation of the amount of land-sourced plastic ending up in the ocean. The research defines OBP as: “[…] mismanaged plastic waste generated […] by populations living 50 km off a coast […] that can potentially enter the ocean as marine debris.” 

In our operations, we focus on plastic waste found in coastal regions where there is no adequate waste management infrastructure in place. This means that those communities don’t have anywhere to dispose of their plastics. Even if there happens to be a landfill, those are mostly not sufficiently managed or guarded against the weather flushing away the landfilled waste. Under such circumstances it is very likely that plastic waste would end up in a waterway or in the ocean, which is what we want to avoid. 

Why don’t you collect the plastic already in the ocean? Isn’t this the more urgent problem? 

Every minute, one truckload of plastic ends up in the ocean. If we don’t act now there’ll be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 (according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation). Our solution is to involve local communities and give plastic waste a value. We believe in a circular economy, that’s why we have partnered with different organizations with a mutual interest in cleaning up the oceans, coastlines and uncontrolled landfills. Countries and islands in Southeast Asia are in desperate need of as much support as possible. 

There are a couple of reasons why we’re focusing our work on ocean-bound plastic waste. In other words: preventing new plastic from entering the ocean. 

  • Recyclability: The longer a piece of plastic has floated in the ocean, the harder it is to recycle. 

  • Efficiency: A recent study has found that most of the currently used technology to clean up plastic in the ocean is not nearly efficient enough to have an actual, significant impact on pollution levels. 

  • Risks: On top of that the same study found that some of the methods in use today can even have negative impact. For example, through bycatch of various marine species such as sharks, turtles and smaller fish but also fish larvae. Those organisms tend to aggregate in the same places as does the marine litter, making it extremely difficult to differentiate while using technical equipment to collect the plastic waste.

Switzerland is a landlocked country. Why are you involved in handling ocean pollution?

Plastic pollution is a global issue which concerns us all – just like the climate crisis does. That’s why we have built a global supply chain with our focus on islands in the Andaman Sea and the southern part of Mexico close to the border with Belize, where we help to establish a resilient waste management and plastic collection system. 

The health of the ocean matters to everyone, no matter how far away from the coast. As the UN said, “the ocean is our biggest ally against climate change”. The oceans are sometimes referred to as “the lungs of our planet” because they act as the biggest carbon sink on earth. If this ecosystem collapses it will have wide-ranging, devastating effects on the climate and on biodiversity. 

Do you commit to the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Of course! We want to fight poverty by creating jobs in rural/poor regions and paying fair wages. We care about Life below water. By cleaning up the oceans and preventing that new plastic enters the sea, we help to improve underwater habitat and protect bio-diversity. Closing the plastic circle means reducing consumption of fossil resources, something we need to do if we want to decarbonize our economy. Wherever possible we use renewable energy sources in all our processes. At the same time we are constantly trying to minimize our carbon footprint through regionalized supply chains. Processing the plastic close to the source allows us to optimize our logistics. Granules can be transported much more efficiently than baled plastic, helping us to save both shipping costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Who is behind #tide?

#tide was founded by a team of innovative entrepreneurs from the Swiss watch and accessories industry. With our impact driven business model, we are committed to helping clean up the environment and empower the local communities affected most by pollution. Learn more about the people, ideas and drivers of #tide in our story.

About the process

What is upcycling? 

While “recycling” means to reintroduce waste into the material cycle as a resource, we go one step further. We turn single use plastic like water bottles, shampoo packaging or food containers into products of a much higher value and with a much longer life such as watches, carpets, apparel, adult toys or speakers/headphones. This process results in an “upgrade” of the material value, which is why we use the term “upcycling”. 

What kinds of plastics are used?

All kinds of plastic. In addition to PET (polyethylene terephthalate) used for beverages bottles, we also regenerate LDPE (Low-density polyethylene, like plastic bags), HDPE (High-density polyethylene, like shampoo bottles) and PP (Polypropylene, hard plastic, like a computer mouse). We are able to replace a variety of Polymers, for instance ABS, with our awarded #tide ocean material.

Do you track the plastic you turn into granules?

We have a tracking system in place which allows for full supply chain traceability. Based on blockchain technology, we are able to track and document the complete material journey, from the moment when the plastic waste is collected until the finished product is shipped to our customers. All this data allows us to provide material passports mapping locations and showing data such as dates, pictures, details on the processing steps and volumes.

Where is the production facility?

The ocean-bound plastic waste is sorted and baled directly on site. Further processing and warehousing are done regionally as well to minimize transportation. 

What is the environmental footprint of #tide ocean material? 

An independent report by renowned Swiss climate consultant Carbotech (reviewed by MyClimate) has shown that our #tide rPET causes only a fifth of the CO2-Emissions of virgin PET. With the #tide rPP the greenhouse gas savings are at around 50%. The study has also looked at the total environmental impact, not only measuring carbon emissions but also other metrics such as land and water use and taking into account the benefits as well of removing plastic from the environment. This more holistic approach has shown that the environmental benefits of our operation outweigh the emissions by a factor of 35! (link to story about the LCA). 

Generally speaking there are other environmental benefits: 

Replacing some of the plastic in use with recycled material also means that less virgin plastic enters the market. Virgin plastic is made of fossil resources, therefore #tide ocean material® helps to reduce oil consumption and to decarbonize our economy. We want to close the circle because we are convinced that there’s already enough plastic. 

What if you can’t meet demands with the plastic you have? Where will you get more?

Not even 10% of plastic is recycled today and around 400 million tons of new plastic is produced every year with projections showing that this number will triple by 2060. Which unfortunately means that there’s more than enough material at least for the next couple of decades.