For 18 months DNV GL has worked with The Ocean Cleanup to establish a set of requirements and verification processes, designed to enable consumer trust and transparency, in the burgeoning ocean-plastic market
The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch non-profit organization developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, has brought the first batch of ocean plastic to shore following their first mission to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the world’s largest accumulation of plastic waste in the world, spanning an area of 1.6 million square kilometers.
This plastic trash will be transformed into products that will be sold to contribute to the funding of continued cleanup operations. To confirm the origin of these future plastic products, The Ocean Cleanup has selected DNV GL as their assurance partner to verify the plastic is from the ocean.
“To bring transparency to the market, we asked the leading certification body DNV GL to launch a standard, to certify that ocean plastic is actually 100% plastic taken from the ocean. DNV GL followed every step of ocean plastic and will continue to do so, to be able to confirm if the plastic in our products truly is 100% coming from the ocean,” says Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup.
From Pollution to Product
With the primary aim of funding continued cleanup operations, The Ocean Cleanup has, from the start, planned to create a value chain from their collected debris. The intention has been to develop attractive, sustainable products made from material collected in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The return to shore of The Ocean Cleanup’s first plastic catch marks the beginning of this historic journey. To date, no product on the market is fully made of plastic removed from the high seas – proving to be another challenging endeavor for the organization.
Verifying Ocean Plastic
Currently, it is not compulsory for an independent, third party to verify that the material has been sourced from the ocean, and products labeled as “ocean plastic” may not be entirely sourced from the ocean. To add further transparency to the work, the origin of the material used in The Ocean Cleanup’s products will be verified by DNV GL, a leader in industry certifications.
For a year and a half, DNV GL has been developing a set of requirements and verification processes. These processes allow the highest level of traceability and clarify how ocean plastic is defined, bringing transparency to this rapidly-developing market. As a next step, the requirements will be developed into a standard, open to all parties interested in ocean-plastic product certification. It will ensure the origin of recovered plastics is defined and verified, allowing consumers to trust that products are made from plastic removed from the ocean.
“Building trust through standards and independent verification has been DNV GL’s work and mission for more than 155 years. Our objective has always been to address challenges at hand, contributing to safer and more sustainable outcomes in a transparent way. When purchasing products verified by DNV GL, consumers can fully trust that it is an ocean plastic product and that they are contributing to the solution,” says Luca Crisciotti, CEO of DNV GL-Business Assurance.