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Avoiding single use plastic at sea

Walking the Talk: Avoiding Single Use Plastics at Sea

Did you know that most single-use plastics never get recycled? According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), about 85 percent of plastic packaging ends up in landfills or as unregulated waste. 

There’s something else to keep in mind: The vast majority of those single-use plastics are made from virgin sources instead of recycled materials. So although recycling single-use plastics is certainly a good idea, choosing to use them in the first place only increases the amount of plastic circulating in the world. 

But there is a solution: avoiding single-use plastics right from the start. Plaine Products partners with the MicroActivist Foundation to do exactly that. Plaine Products makes it possible for the MicroActivist to completely eschew single-use plastics on the foundation’s seaborne research, filming, and education platform, the sailing catamaran MicroActivist.

Avoiding Single Use Plastics at Sea

Avoiding doesn’t mean going without. For example, personal care products are a huge source of plastics and microplastics in the environment, but the crew of the MicroActivist gets around that by stocking their ship with Plaine Products’ personal care products in refillable aluminum containers. When a product runs low, all they have to do is order a refill. When the refill arrives in the mail, it’s shipped in 100% recycled (and recyclable) packaging. They use the same packaging, and the enclosed free return label, to send the empty bottles back for reuse. This circular process means no waste, and the crew is completely avoiding single use plastic.MicroActivist beach cleanup

But there’s more. The MicroActivist Foundation was founded based on the passion of one young man — Connor Berryhill — for protecting the ocean and its creatures. His first initiatives, starting at the age of just five years old, were recruiting other kids to join him in beach clean-ups, one of UNEP’s key strategies for beating plastic pollution.

As Connor has grown, so have his dreams, which Plaine Products are proud to support. His life’s work — and the foundation’s mission — is to connect young people to the ocean, and to show them just how much power for positive change they have when they work together.

The MicroActivist Foundation’s Mission

Toward that end, they have published a range of educational materials and online courses that doesn’t just engage young people and educate them about the ocean, it also puts them firmly in the driver’s seat of real-world simulations so they can experience what it feels like to make decisions on a scientific expedition or talk down wayward fishermen intent on catching one of the world’s rarest sharks.

They are also constantly improving the MicroActivist ship to make it even more eco-friendly. In addition to partnering with us to ditch single-use plastic, they converted the MicroActivist catamaran into a hybrid sailing platform, with solar panels and batteries to power electric engines, and an electric dinghy to boot. Continuing in their dream to turn the MicroActivist into a zero-emissions, zero-waste research platform. 

Everything the foundation produces is designed to draw all of us, kids and adults alike, closer to the ocean and the many ways we can help protect it.

 



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