Rainwater, wind and floods carry plastic waste from the land into the oceans. Original Penguin partnered with CleanHub to collect plastic waste before it can enter the most precious ecosystem on earth.
GotBag's network of more than 2000 fishermen collects all plastics as bycatch from the sea on the north coast of Java. The team has recently started to collect plastic on land as well, to manage household waste from the communities of Demak. This waste used to end up in nature due poor waste management systems. Every financial contribution helps to expand the model across Java and creates stable and dignified jobs for local communities in coastal regions. In this way, we offer a direct opportunity for recycling, ensure less improperly managed waste and ensure less plastic in the sea.
The collected material then gets sorted into different plastic types. All PET is recycled and processed into yarn for our backpack production. The remaining plastic is divided according to suitable recycling solutions. Materials like plastic bags have to be mechanically recycled - in other words, they are processed into so-called secondary raw materials before they can be incorporated into other, new products. Multi-layer packages like food wrappings are very hard to recycle. That's why we use them to generate energy - as an alternative to burning fossil fuels. We track all the plastic recovered through the CleanHub app.
The collection and recovery efforts are in motion. Track here, how much plastic waste has already been recovered.
CleanHub empowers companies to take immediate responsibility for their plastic footprints. We connect ocean-loving brands with local communities, and facilitate the collection and safe processing of non-recyclable plastic. We understand the importance of proving impact, so we’ve built track & trace technology to provide evidence of how much plastic is collected, and where it ends up after we take care of it.
We choose recovery methods with the lowest environmental impact possible, and use our market position to enforce better working conditions for local workers.
80% of the plastic waste that ends up in the oceans is so-called flexible packaging or multilayer packaging, like chip packets, sauce sachets, etc. This material is either impossible to recycle or there is no demand from the market for the products (unlike water bottles which are commonly collected as they can be recycled, and so have ‘value’). Plastic that can’t be recycled is openly burned in small backyard fires or in landfills, or it is carried away into nature by the monsoon or strong winds. While we do collect all plastics, we focus on non-recyclable plastic to maximize our impact.
In order to stop ocean bound plastic, we need to significantly increase plastic recovery rates in high leakage locations. To achieve that, we empower communities around the world to cope with their own plastic waste, create incentives, develop waste management standards and foster local entrepreneurship. In our network of recovery endpoints we provide critical off-take agreements to safely treat plastic waste.
Plastic pollution is a global problem that affects us all. CleanHub is building a global network of local Collection Hubs in high impact locations to facilitate the collection and safe processing of non-recyclable plastic. We operate primarily in South (East) Asia which is the gateway for more than 80% of all plastic that enters our oceans. With your contribution we can reduce the mismanagement of plastic waste in these regions to eventually stop this environmental crisis.
Recyclable goods are sold for local recycling. Non-recyclables are sent for co-processing.
Co-processing refers to the simultaneous recycling of mineral materials and recovery of energy in the process of cement manufacturing and achieves a superior environmental performance as compared to landfill and incineration. For co-processing recovery we partner with Geocycle.
To learn more, read our blog - What happens to the collected waste
Plastic neutrality means that for every amount of plastic created, an equal amount of plastic waste is retrieved from the environment to be appropriately disposed of - either recycled or repurposed.
We work with brands to calculate their plastic footprint and recover the equivalent amount from the environment in high leakage countries, such as Indonesia or India. Some brands want to go further and recover more plastic than they emit, earning them Plastic Neutral + status. . Every contribution directly prevents plastic from entering our oceans and supports the development of local waste management infrastructure.
To stop plastic from entering the environment, we need to get to a point where the material is collected as close to the consumer as possible, and intercepted before it can reach the ocean. The majority of our plastic efforts are door-to-door collection or other smart ways to aggregate waste in one point. We also finance projects with passive technologies that catch plastic in rivers. The smallest fraction of plastic stems from beach cleanups or is directly sourced from the ocean.
Recovering plastic from the environment involves three distinct operations. Firstly the collection of the plastic, secondly the sorting of plastic into its unique types and thirdly the safe and final treatment. We digitize the recovery of ocean bound plastic from start to finish.Our Hubs use our technology to track the full collection process, which means we can verify every piece of plastic that is collected and what happens to it after we take care of it.
Watch this video to see how it works
We choose the best recovery method according to three steps. Firstly, available recovery options are ranked according to the waste management hierarchy, i.e. Recycling > Energy Recovery > Landfill. Secondly, we rank all options on the basis of life-cycle assessment results that determine related Co2 emissions. Thirdly, all recovery options are ranked by their level of technology and safety. CleanHub only works with recovery companies that operate according to the European code of conduct.