HP, Ikea enlist in NextWave Plastics campaign to ‘turn off tap’ on ocean-bound plastic

Marine litterTwo more companies have joined NextWave Plastics’ initiative to develop the first global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains: HP Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) and Ikea (Leiden, Netherlands). Counting those two new members, a total of 10 companies are now collaborating to “turn off the tap” of plastic entering the ocean.

HP and Ikea bring experienced leadership to addressing ocean-bound plastics that will contribute to all NextWave companies pushing the boundaries of what they know to be possible, said NextWave Plastics.

In 2017, as part of a United Nations commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 14, Dell Technologies and Lonely Whale launched NextWave Plastics. The goal was to build on Dell’s ocean-bound plastic program started in 2016 and bring together a cross-industry consortium of companies collaborating in an open-source and transparent fashion to create the first global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains.

“As we’ve become more engaged in the challenges facing our oceans, it’s become increasingly clear that the solution to marine plastic pollution requires bold innovation and open collaboration,” said Kevin Brown, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Dell Technologies. “No company can solve this issue alone, and we are excited to welcome new member companies to the cause and continue to encourage others to work together to further advance NextWave’s mission and prevent even more plastic from entering the ocean.”

HP joined NextWave Plastics’ initiative because “we firmly believe in the power of collaboration,” said Stuart Pann, Chief Supply Chain Officer for HP. “We want to scale our collective efforts among industry leaders, work together to address barriers and engage others in the quest for an ocean free from plastic.”

Since announcing in September 2016 that it would join the First Mile Coalition to clean up plastic waste and create economic opportunity for the people of Haiti, HP and its partners have successfully built a fully functioning ocean-bound plastics supply chain using bottles collected in Haiti.

The company announced this week that it has sourced 250 tonnes of ocean-bound plastics from Haiti and created more than 600 income opportunities for adults in the country. That’s more than 12 million plastic bottles that have not entered the Caribbean Sea and instead are being upcycled into HP ink cartridges. By opening new market opportunities, generating a steady revenue stream and partnering to improve conditions for the workers, HP is helping to create sustainable jobs and bring dignity to the collector community, it said.

In June 2018, Ikea announced its updated sustainability strategy, with new commitments to become people- and planet-positive by 2030. Commitments include removing single-use plastic products across its stores by 2020 and designing all Ikea products with new circular principles by 2030, with the goal to only use renewable and recycled materials.

Lena Pripp-Kovac, Sustainability Manager for Inter Ikea Group, responded to a question from PlasticsToday regarding replacement materials for this commitment: “We don’t yet have all the answers for how we will replace each plastic product that is currently offered as ‘single-use.’ This may mean that in some cases, we are not able to offer an alternative immediately.”

However, noted Pripp-Kovac, “we will accelerate our efforts to find more sustainable options for the single-use plastic products that are being removed from the range, for example, by designing all new products from the very beginning to be repurposed, repaired, reused, resold and recycled, generating as little waste as possible; aiming for all products to be based on renewable or recycled materials by 2030; and exploring new materials that reduce pollution and climate impacts,” she explained. “Replacing single-use plastic products is a lot about replacing with multiple-use and reusable items, not mainly or only about replacing single-use plastic with other single-use materials.”

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