The majority of the plastic in our oceans is broken into small pieces 1/4 of an inch or smaller and scattered over massive areas. The center of a Vortex, where the plastic concentration is highest, is constantly moving. It is difficult to collect and retrieve this plastic without harming fish and other sea life.
Only a minority of plastic pollution floats on or near the surface, while the majority sinks to the ocean floor. While it still seems impossible to clean up the Vortexes, huge volumes of plastic debris wash up on beaches and shorelines, where it can be collected relatively easily and without complex technology by the global Parley network of cleanup organizations.
Awareness campaigns, cleanup operations and recycling initiatives allow us to help alleviate immediate threats to marine wildlife and reduce the use of virgin plastics in product design, manufacturing and distribution. In close collaboration with major brands, we also work to reduce overall plastic use.
But we can only end ocean plastic pollution in the long run if we invent smarter materials and synchronize the economic system of mankind with the ecosystem of nature. Therefore Parley with its global expert network is operating an extensive research and development program to invent alternatives and to establish new industry standards.
“I want to be plastic!” Andy Warhol’s phrase expresses the fascination for a seemingly perfect material. It is sleek, comes in any color possible, looks stunning when brand new and can have specific performance features, which makes it very hard to replace. The truth is, plastic is a design failure. Therefore it is best to avoid plastic and use alternative materials. If not possible, then the use of recycled material is the second best option. It helps to cut down the production of virgin plastic. Parley works closely with its corporate partners to reduce and replace plastic in consumption, production and distribution, and on educational programs for employees, partners and consumers.
The primary mission of Parley for the Oceans is to save as many animals as possible. The global Parley network of cleanup organizations achieves this by removing plastic from shorelines and ghostnets from the high seas. In remote areas, we establish systems to intercept plastic waste before it ends up in landfills, gets burned, buried or tossed into rivers or oceans. We don’t see recycling as the ultimate solution for plastic pollution, but keeping plastic that has been already produced in use reduces the need for new, virgin plastic. Together with its corporate partners, Parley develops programs which incentivize consumers to return their end-of-life products and keep plastic in a closed loop.
Today, a sexy product made in an eco innovative way can be the most efficient advertising for a cause. It is a proof of concept for new technologies or materials and creates strong media attention. Additionally, Parley partner products made with Ocean Plastic reposition recycling materials as desirable and contribute to the funding of AIR. An extensive research and development program focuses on up-cycling of marine plastic debris, prevention and interception of microplastic, and new models that can disrupt traditional plastic product categories. To end the cycle of plastic pollution for good, Parley and its partners are working on the development of new materials which can replace current plastic.
DISRUPT THE CYCLE
John Warner, Founder of Green Chemistry
Repurposing deathtraps. Discarded fishing nets continuously kill sea life when left in the oceans, but they become impactful messengers for the cause when recycled. After being retrieved from high seas and shorelines, the former ghostnets get upcycled to create signature products.
Reverse the unstoppable. Current plastic is a design failure. At Parley we believe we can only end plastic pollution if we invent our way out of this mess. Our collaborative green chemistry network is working on new materials and production methods to boost eco innovation.
All eyes on the sea. Surfers relate to shorelines like no other group. The surf industry has all the reason to lead eco innovation to guard their playgrounds. Together, we generate valuable data on ocean health, mobilize local communities and collaborate on solutions.
Big data on ocean health. Instead of sending our own research vessels, we are gathering a network of sailors and fleet owners to run water tests and trawl for ocean plastic. With our partners we are developing equipment and an open-source citizen science platform.
PARLEY OCEAN SCHOOL
“People protect what they love." But they only love what they know. Jacques Cousteau would have been a great teacher at our education events, which connect the next generation, today's opinion leaders, and executives with the sea so they may become insiders and ambassadors for the cause.
Catch the invisible. Tiny plastic fibers and particles are rapidly spreading through waterways and into our oceans. Or they break down from larger pieces in the gyres. Our objective is to consolidate existing knowledge and develop new tools and methods to stop the pollution.