RENEW OCEANS

Renew Oceans is a non-profit entity that works on the ground in river-adjacent communities in the developing world to reduce ocean plastic. 

TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: The Renew Oceans team provides on the ground planning, support and management for local collection and recycling systems.

    MORE INFORMATION: https://www.renewoceans.org/


    Collections: BEST PRACTICES, COLLECTION


    THE PROBLEM

    Many regions challenged by plastic pollution have a lack of adequate waste management infrastructure. In densely populated urban areas, this problem is visibly apparent by the accumulation of plastic waste on land and in the water that becomes part of the local landscape.

    While wastepickers in some developing countries are very active in collecting plastic bottles and other plastics of value, soft plastics such as plastic bags, wrappers, pouches, and other scraps, are considered low value as they are not easily recycled or converted. Individual waste pickers and local businesses are not incentivized to collect these soft plastics, further compounding the problem.

     

    THE SOLUTION

    Renew Oceans is a non-profit entity that works on the ground in river-adjacent communities in the developing world to reduce ocean plastic. They focus on plastic Collection, Conversion, and Community engagement. 

    Land Based Collection - The Plastic Muncher acts like a reverse vending machine, engineered to receive soft plastic waste, and then to compensate the customer with rewards based on their plastic waste deposits. These kiosk-style exchange stations are installed in public areas within river and tributary communities placed within 50 kilometers of one of their satellite conversion facilities.

    Water Based Collection - They place ReFences in rivers to collect plastic waste as currents flow, thus diverting the waste from ocean bound pathways. This biofencing is anchored to the shore and pushes plastic waste into shallow waters where local waste pickers use nets provided by the team to gather the diverted plastic. They can then bring their collected plastic to one of the easily accessed Plastic Munchers or collection centers to receive payment.

    Processing - Renew Oceans then facilitate the sale of all plastic bottles collected from the land and water based systems for conventional recycling. They also separate non-bottle plastics to be processed at a satellite conversion facility, where they deploy the RenewOne, a conversion process that accepts soft plastics to create renewable fuel. RenewOne’s process reverses the molecular structure of flexible plastics to create diesel fuel. The conversion does not create toxic emissions, and the resulting diesel product has a high market value and can be used locally in multiple ways. This conversion process creates the end market value for soft plastic waste that affords the waste pickers higher financial returns.

    Community Engagement - Community engagement, education and empowerment is essential to program success. 

     

    ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

    Other collection and recycling solutions tailored for developing regions include Solu, Sweepsmart, Upp!, Kabadiwalla Connect, and Recykal.

     

    CASE STUDY EXAMPLES

    Their first project was launched in India along the Ganges River: https://www.renewoceans.org/renew/#ganga-top/

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