From Shore to Store: Opportunity in Ocean Plastics
"Every year the oceans are bearing an additional weight of 8 million metric tons of discarded plastic. That’s close to one garbage truck per minute dumping its load into the sea. Even more mind-boggling is the fact that researchers have stipulated that without any immediate actions, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
These startling figures have been syndicated across hundreds of media outlets and created a growing wave of interest in developing solutions. In fact, the issue of ocean plastic has been discussed as early as the mid 1970s with the National Academy of Sciences estimating that 14 billion pounds of garbage was being dumped into the ocean every year. That’s more than 1.5 million pounds per hour.
A recent study released by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation noted that plastics production has grown 20 fold since 1964, reaching 311 million tons in 2014, and it is expected to double again in the next 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050, with no end in sight.
At a conference earlier this year, I had the pleasure of joining Sylvia Earle at a private dinner. She proclaimed, “The world thought the oceans were unbreakable,” and the outcome we see now is simply the compounding result of this dangerous kind of antiquated thinking. Her thoughts echoed with me.
Something needs to change in how we approach the issues facing the ocean. Our company, Oceanworks, has done just that. Oceanworks is a private company, meaning we are not a nonprofit, NGO, working group or a think-tank. We differ from our peers only in that we have investors to account for and a forthcoming goal to establish our services into not only a repeatable process, but also a scalable global operation that massively impacts the collection and reutilization of verified ocean plastics into sustainable products.
--Rob Ianelli is the CEO of Oceanworks Inc. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded successful companies in the consumer product, marketing and sustainability industry. Passionate about pursuing market opportunities and transforming societal problems into compelling high-impact businesses, Ianelli has a keen understanding of how to create powerful results for customers, partners and the environment." Read Article