Experts today believe at least 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year. The World Economic Forum says that is the same as dumping the contents of one dustbin lorry into the ocean every minute. And by 2050, it is expected to increase to four dustbin lorries per minute.
That is why companies like SC Johnson are working hard to find ways to minimise the amount of plastic waste around the globe. From a product perspective, we have taken many steps, like developing our products to encourage reuse, designing out of excess packaging and increasing the recycled content of our plastic bottles.
In 2018, SC Johnson kicked off a partnership with Plastic Bank, one of the leading organisations working to reduce ocean plastic.
Plastic Bank’s mission is to create social and environmental impact in areas with high levels of poverty and plastic pollution. To do this, they exchange plastic collected by residents for money, goods or services. The collected plastic is recycled and sold as Social Plastic®. The collectors benefit from the value they receive in exchange.
Working with Plastic Bank, we are opening eight new recycling centres in Indonesia, each able to collect about 100 metric tons of plastic a year and provide opportunities for hundreds of local waste collectors. The first centre opened in Bali on October 28, 2018, and all eight centres should be operational by mid 2019.
In October 2018, SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson visited Indonesia and dove at Manta Point with Conservation International (CI), our long-time partner in environmental action. For more than 15 years, we have been collaborating with CI to help safeguard forests and preserve natural resources.
As a lifelong diver who has been in seas around the world, Fisk has seen ocean conditions decline and wanted to see the ocean plastic crisis up close. Manta Point gained fame in 2018 when a diver shared video of extensive plastic pollution in the water.
While Fisk didn’t encounter the same level of pollution as that diver, the marine biodiversity was inspiring and further spotlighted the devastating impact plastic pollution could have.