#tide is a business for impact. True sustainability means everyone is benefitting: The workers, the brands, the consumers and the environment.
Collecting ocean-bound plastic is a service to the environment with obvious but also quite surprising effects. As an impact business we want to have a clear understanding of the consequences our work has on the environment and the people involved.
There's the visible factor: pristine beaches littered with trash, clear blue water full of plastic. A tragedy. And a problem that goes far beyond the aesthetic unease that it generates. Plastic pollution has caused and still causes significant harm to tourism and fisheries in the regions most affected by it. Removing plastic from the environment, especially from the ocean or the coast, reduces the risk of fish or other creatures of the sea to get fatally entangled and is helping to maintain and conserve biodiversity. This results in a healthier ecosystem.
Then there are the invisible effects. The longer a piece of plastic is exposed to the rough conditions of UV rays, saltwater, sand, and wear-and-tear, the more likely it will disintegrate into microplastic. Turning an environmental problem into a full-blown health hazard. Research has shown a plethora of potential health risks linked to being exposed to microplastics. They are being ingested by microorganisms, ending up in the food chain. And once they are in there, there’s no turning back.
To solve the problem of plastic pollution once and for all, it is more important (and impactful) to prevent new plastic waste from ending up in the environment to begin with. Getting plastic out of the ocean is very difficult and requires a ton of resources. Doing it on a massive scale – which is what we as a society must do – will most likely not be possible in a cost-effective way.
Which is why we put a lot of effort towards the creation of local waste management infrastructures. Giving waste a value is at the core of our impact driven business model. The goal is to incentivize the collection. Before our waste pickers started working for us, there was no solution to get rid of the plastic other than landfilling or burning it and both have significant environmental downsides. As soon as we embarked on the journey to give plastic waste a value, the waste started to be collected and processed properly. The waste pickers working with our social enterprise have become the de-facto waste managers on their small islands in the Andaman Sea. Value is impact.
We will always go the extra mile. This is what being a business for impact means for us: Support our waste pickers with actual infrastructures to make their life easier, for example. Together with our partners we invest in warehouses, collection hubs and logistics to create long-lasting impact and resilient systems for generations to come. To top that off, educational programs for school children are being implemented to raise awareness within the local population as early as possible.
As a business for impact, we care about the ocean and we care about local communities. Because we couldn't do anything without the hardworking people at the front of this issue: The fishermen collecting the plastic and the workers at our social enterprises who sort the waste.
They all are heavily impacted by plastic pollution in their everyday lives. At the same time they're absolutely key to solving the problem. Empowering them is the first and most important step on this journey.
This is why we focus on our social impact as well: creating jobs, paying fair wages and in some instances providing housing and assistance with social security is as important to us as is cleaning up the ocean. Partnering up with carefully vetted social enterprises and foundations such as the Jan & Oscar Foundation allows us to put emphasis on the principles guiding our impact driven business model.
Principles like equality and diversity matter to us: 4 out of 5 people in our workforce sorting the plastic waste in Thailand are women, many of them are either Burmese or Moken. Both ethnic minorities meet with hardship in many workplaces. We offer them a dignified and sustainable way of earning a living. In addition to the job training, we provide much needed social security and health insurance.
The religious diversity at the social enterprise is impressive in itself: Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Animists are working side by side peacefully. United in the believe that a time will come when our oceans will be free from plastic and full of life again.
Our #tide ocean material is a valuable raw material, versatile, long lasting, sustainable. It can replace virgin plastic in many applications, and produces a much smaller footprint.
On top of that, it comes with an authentic and credible story. The Marketing value is unparalleled and we deliver the assets to back it up. Data and insights about plastic pollution are the backbone of every marketing campaign. We provide photos and videos straight from the frontline to substantiate sustainability claims.