Plastic is a durable, safe, and lightweight resource whose versatility and malleability have allowed the creation of a myriad of products essential in our everyday life: from packaging (for the preservation of food, for example) to electronic components.
While the mismanagement of plastic waste on a global level has altered our vision of this exceptional resource, it is incontestable that plastics have been playing an important role in our society, because of their ability to provide safer and easier living conditions.
But the failure to adequately handle end-of-life plastic products has led to major environmental and social impacts.
So, it is crucial that institutions act now, as the future of the plastic economy quite literally resides in our ability to implement a circular economy for plastics to fight the issue of plastic pollution and re-elevate public opinion on the incredible properties of plastic. It might sound counter-intuitive, but handled properly, plastic can be part of the solution to plastic pollution.
#tide has initiated the journey to give plastic waste a value by putting it back into the material circle.
#tide believes in the power of circular economy for plastics to tackle and solve one of the most important challenges of our time.
That's why #tide created a durable solution to plastic pollution that is based on circular principles. Through the collection and upcycling of ocean-bound plastic into a premium raw material, which can be used by brands to create sustainable products, #tide puts plastic waste back into the circle and contributes to the protection of various ecosystems.
At #tide, we have developed a global supply chain to provide a sustainable solution to plastic pollution. We are collecting and upcycling plastic that has or could have ended up in the ocean in several countries, for instance Thailand, Indonesia or the Philippines.
To meet our customers' needs, we have opened up several hubs for further processing and distributing of the material, from Bangkok to Switzerland, Hong Kong and the USA. It is our goal to have the least carbon footprint possible when it comes to transportation of our recycled plastic. We are reducing transportation to the max, because a real solution to plastic pollution has to be sustainable on a holistic level.
However, since it is not possible to fully eliminate the need to transport goods, we're offsetting all carbon emissions related to transportation through the acknowledged foundation MyClimate.
Our global network of partners includes several countries in America, Europe and Asia. We envision to have compounding facilities located as close as possible to our collection points on each continent by 2025, as it is already the case in Southeast Asia.
Our goal is to expand our collaborative efforts to the best partners possible to ensure the quality and efficiency of our initiatives, and to be able to provide a solution in all the locations where the problem is particularly salient.
Within the course of 2022, we are to develop and open collection and upcycling points in Mexico. This will allow us to extend those activities to the American continent, and extend our environmental and social impact.
We are convinced that the only viable transition towards a circular plastic economy for plastics is if we act together as one big community to respond to a problem of such global significance.
Did you know that 80% of the plastics in the ocean come from land-based activities and not from what is thrown or lost overboard from ships?
This is what happens: Plastic trash piles up in uncontrolled landfills.
Trash is blown from the streets or landfills and heavy rains provoke landslides.
Rainwater and wind carry plastic into streams, rivers and through drains.
They all lead to the ocean.
Once plastic is in our oceans, it flows on currents all across the world.
Even uninhabited islands become dumping grounds for plastic when the waste gets washed up on the coast.
That’s why we must provide a long-term solution to plastic pollution. We must collect plastic in the oceans, rivers, along the coastlines and on uncontrolled landfills: We must prevent more plastics from finding their ways into the water and to clean the oceans.
On this basis, ocean-bound plastic (OBP) can be defined as waste that is very likely to end up in the ocean. The concept was further defined in a publication by Jenna Jembeck et al. as “abandoned plastic waste” located within 50km from shores where waste management systems are inexistent or inefficient.
To go further, the acclaimed OBP Certifications Program, which is auditing and certifying #tide's activities in Thailand, has defined the concept as mismanaged plastic waste:
located within a 50km distance of the coastline,
200m from rivers and in rivers,
and 200m from shores.
The plastic waste that #tide collects in Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines is 100% ocean-bound. We do not process any non-ocean-bound and virgin plastics.
In addition, #tide reduced the 50 kilometer distance off the coastline in Thailand (Andaman Sea) to a 10 kilometer ray.
A circular economy is an innovative model that aims at redesigning our approach to waste management systems.
The three pillars of this economic model are: eliminate, circulate, regenerate.
A circular economy for plastics, it consists of reducing, as much as possible, the use of unnecessary packaging thanks to the application of new designs. It aims at reusing materials whenever it is possible to minimize the need for new plastics while ensuring that no hazardous chemicals are involved in the process.
The implementation of a circular economy for plastics on a global scale is the only solution that can respond to a problem of such a magnitude.
Learn more about the concept of circularity economy with this video produced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
A shift in industry trends and customer demand is not enough to tackle a problem of such a magnitude. It is crucial that the transition towards a circular economy for plastics is endorsed by well-designed and efficient legislation on a global scale.
The Green New Deal and the European Green Deal, both of which shed light on the urgency to implement solutions to combat climate change in an efficient and socially fair way, are promising starting points that have the potential to initiate real change from a linear to a circular economy.
Real change can only happen if the most important pillars of society join forces towards a common goal.