Our Purpose

Plastic and trash pollution is at catastrophic levels. Something needs to be done now. Our purpose is to take measurable action through our Active Cleanups and create socially-conscious, forward thinking products that reduce or eliminate plastic use.

The Facts


Humans produce almost 300 million tons of plastic each year. The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year. Approximately 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away. Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Today’s scientists have a much better idea of the amount of plastic that enters the open ocean every year: newer estimates indicate that somewhere between 15% to 40% of plastics disposed of as waste enters the oceans annually. More than 4.8 million metric tons of plastic waste gets dumped into the world’s oceans from land each year. And this number is just a conservative estimate. Researchers believe the real amount could be as high as 12.7 million metric tons, with that amount set to double by 2025. To put that into perspective, one metric ton is equivalent 2,205 pounds. We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce. No natural process can break down conventional plastics. They simply will not biodegrade. Because of this, basically every piece of conventional plastic every produced still exists in landfills, our oceans or as litter.

A significant percentage of plastics wind up getting buried in landfills. Far more serious environmental impact occurs when waste plastics are allowed to freely migrate as plastic pollution, eventually making their way into our waterways which lead to our oceans. Plastic photodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces without breaking down into simpler compounds. These small bits of photodegraded plastic are called mermaid tears or nurdles. Plastics constitute approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with an estimated 46,000 pieces of large plastic items per square mile. A floating object, known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is the largest refuse dump in the world. It is about twice the size of Texas and floats in the middle of the ocean in a high-pressure area between the Hawaii and California. This garbage patch is the result of an oceanographic gyre, which is a large system of rotating ocean currents normally located near regions of significant wind activity. Five gyres exist in our oceans, all carrying plastic debris. The rotation of these gyres prevents garbage and other materials from escaping. Microplastic nurdles, many of which are too small to be seen by the unaided eye, make up the majority of oceanic garbage patches. These nurdles are unavoidably mistaken for food by filter feeders and other marine life, which means that they eventually work their way up the food chain and eventually, onto our dinner plates.

The staggering amount of plastic entering and clogging our oceans wreaks havoc with marine wildlife, through entanglement and ingestion. Sea animals suffer terribly as a result of our obsession with plastic. Approximately 100,000 marine creatures die every year from plastic entanglement; 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans and all sea turtle species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies. Around two-thirds of fish species are suffering from plastic ingestion. When fish ingest plastic, it releases chemicals within the fish…eventually working it’s way up the food chain. A federal government study now reports that bisphenol A (BPA)—the building block of one of the most widely used container plastics, polycarbonate—permeates the bodies of many of U.S. residents, young and old.

Not all plastic can be 100 percent recycled. In fact, we currently recover only about five percent of the plastics we place in recycle bins. Waste plastics need to be carefully sorted before they can be further processed. The presence of excess foreign materials—from food to dissimilar varieties of plastic—can ruin an entire batch of otherwise-recyclable plastic. The two most common types of plastic are (#1) polyethylene terephthalate, or PETE, which is used mainly in soda and water bottles, and (#2) high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, used in items like detergent bottles and milk jugs. While plastics marked #1 or #2 are generally considered to be recyclable, not all containers with those numbers actually get recycled. Sorting is a crucial part of the recycling process. Plastic sorting can be done manually, but it’s tedious, error-prone and labor-intensive; while automatic sorting technology is not foolproof. The number of plastic formulations in existence make it difficult for automated sorting equipment to identify all of the various additives in the materials passing through. In short, a significant amount of the plastic we try to recycle will still end up in landfills or the ocean.

In an attempt to position products as “green”, several companies have recently introduced biodegradable products made from plastics that claim to degrade quickly. There is confusion between certifiable compostable or truly biodegradable products and those which really are not. Compostable and biodegradable plastics are perceived to be a “silver-bullet solution”…Buy a product, throw it away, then it is assumed that everything will simply disappear. As with many green initiatives, the real situation is far more complex. Truly biodegradable plastics are those which decompose into simpler compounds such as carbon dioxide, methane, water, inorganic compounds, or biomass via microbial assimilation. To be considered biodegradable, this decomposition has to be measured by standardized tests and take place within a specified time period which varies according to the disposal method chosen. They do not decompose unless they are disposed of properly; meaning that biodegradable plastics must be treated in a manner similar to compost. Something made from biodegradable plastic will not completely decompose in a landfill. As their name implies, landfills are essentially intended to entomb waste and maintain volumetric bulk by protecting their contents from exposure to air, moisture and sunlight. Oxygen is required for biodegradable plastics and other materials to decompose properly, and landfills have very-poor-to-nonexistent oxygen flow. That’s why newspapers found in landfills are still readable 50 years later. The lack of oxygen creates an anaerobic environment, so if biodegradable plastics do manage to break down, they’ll emit methane; a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO2 in terms of damage potential to the Earth’s ozone layer. When buried in landfills, compostable packaging just ends up contributing to methane emissions. When compostable or biodegradable plastics don’t end up in a properly-maintained compost heap, there’s really nothing green about them. Most consumer compost piles do not get hot enough and are not adequately maintained to properly decompose a complex compostable plastic like P.L.A. (Polylactic acid). Because so many compostable plastics look identical to nondegradable plastics, there’s yet another layer of confusion: when clear compostable plastics end up in the recycling bin, they can actually contaminate the plastic recycling process. Some biodegradable and compostable plastics contain a significant amount of cornstarch, vegetable oil or other compounds. These cannot be recycled because the starch or oil additives compromise the quality of recycled plastics. Bottom line: real compostable and biodegradable plastic should be sent to the appropriate commercial composting and biodegradation facilities, where it will spend its final days being properly broken down or eaten by microbes. So, before you buy biodegradable and compostable plastics, please make sure you can have them properly disposed. Also, look for products with the Biodegradable Products Institute logo, which means they’ve been certified to comply with scientifically-established standards.

Plastics have become a necessary evil in our modern day society, it’s the cheapest way to produce a lot of goods and packaging. Unfortunately, The cheapest way usually has the largest impact on our environment. Rather than using marketing language or flashy graphics to give the illusion of a lower footprint; we constantly strive to find ways to reduce our use of plastics, or completely eliminate it. We do not use plastic tubs or bottles for packaging any of our products. We use paper pouches that have a very thin layer of LLDPE, less than 5.6 mil thick. Instead of plastic scoops, we use wooden scoops in our products that require measurement and dispensing tools. We put our mission into action by hosting our Active Cleanups throughout communities. We feel that action speaks louder than marketing. We will always be transparent through this journey. This philosophy was ingrained in our DNA from the beginning, and we will continue with this commitment.

8,000,000

METRIC TONS OF PLASTIC DUMPED INTO WORLD'S OCEANS EACH YEAR

46,000

PIECES OF PLASTIC FLOATING IN EACH SQUARE MILE OF OUR OCEANS

80%

OF POLLUTION ENTERS THE OCEANS FROM LAND

93%

OF AMERICANS AGE SIX OR OLDER TEST POSITIVE FOR BPA

The 5 Gyres


Over the past 10 yearsmore plastic was producedthan the entire 20th century.

Almost every single piece of plastic ever created still exist.

What You Can Do


Reduce use of single use plastics. From Styrofoam to disposable cups to plastic-lined paper cups, these beverage holders have a lifespan of about half an hour. Bring a reusable mug when you order coffee. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water.

Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other “disposable” plastics.

Bring a reusable bag when you shop. Shoppers around the world use approximately 500,000,000,000 plastic bags annually. That’s about 1 million single use bags every minute across the globe.

Go digital. Plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases are extremely outdated when you can buy your music and videos online.

Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.

Think of innovative ways to re-purpose the plastics that you already have.

Shop local and frequent farmers’ markets for fresh produce and eggs, bakeries for bread and butchers for meats since they often use less packaging to wrap items.

Avoid buying items heavily packaged in plastic. Look for produce and other items that aren’t over-packaged.

Don’t just discard electronics, use sites like eBay or Craigslist to sell used goods made of plastic instead.

Spread the word, a lot of people are just flat-out uninformed about this problem. Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to reduce plastic in our lives and the nasty impacts of plastic pollution.

Get Involved.

80% of plastic pollution enters the ocean from land. This means we can have a direct impact on what ends up in our oceans. Join our active cleanups!

Join Our Active Cleanups!

Stay Updated on Future Cleanups.

500 million strawsare used per day.

Each person in the US will use approximately 38,000 or more straws between the ages of 5 and 65.

Blogs


On a worldwide scale,each year about 500 billion to 1 trillionplastic bags are used worldwide.

That's about 1 million bags per minute.

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