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Today, on World Oceans Day, Bantam Materials, the UK-based supplier of Prevented Ocean Plastic™, has announced it will open 25 Collection Centres by 2025.

These high-volume centres will be opened in regions that have historically lacked recycling infrastructure to deal with their plastic waste, including Southeast Asia, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Mediterranean.

The ambitious mission provides multiple benefits. It will develop efficient waste management infrastructure where it is currently lacking, support a circular economy on plastic, create reliable income opportunities with dignified working conditions for local people, clean up the natural environment, and provide certified and traceable premium quality recycled plastic to global markets.

Of this new infrastructure, 20 centres will be high-capacity collection centres capable of processing 100 tonnes of discarded plastic waste per month, and five will be bigger ‘aggregation centres’, able to process up to 500 tonnes per month. By 2025, Prevented Ocean Plastic™ expects to be collecting 54,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year across the 25 centres, the equivalent weight of 270 blue whales. Additionally, the 25 centres will support approximately 1,000 direct jobs and create income opportunities for thousands more bottle collectors in the informal waste sector.

Raffi Schieir, Director of Prevented Ocean Plastic™, said, “At a time when there’s a lot of negative talk about the future of the planet, it’s good to be doing something that has an immediate, positive impact on people and their local communities. By choosing recycled and looking for the Prevented Ocean Plastic logo, we can all support responsible sourcing through these tangible, brick-and-mortar builds.

Each new centre will supply the collected material to a recycler underpinned by the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Standards, which were developed in accordance with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code and are informed by the Code of Good Practice developed by ISEAL, as well as Bantam Materials’ Good Manufacturing Practices and best-in-class traceability process. Created in consultation with over 70 leading businesses, they are the most comprehensive set of standards in the industry and ensure best-practice, safe and dignified working conditions.

The first Collection Centre has already opened. Last Sunday, a ribbon was cut outside an aggregation centre in Semarang, Indonesia. This was the direct result of a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia. Indonesia is a country of 17,000 islands and no drinkable water from the tap, which, along with other factors, contributes to the country being ranked the number two source for ocean plastic pollution.

Over half of the collection centres will be brand new builds, supported by various partners including USAID, who are working directly with Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia. The remaining centres will be enhancing the infrastructure of existing sites alongside local, trusted partners.

Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is committed to cleaning, elevating, and building around the world. And there’s always more that can be done. In Schieir’s words, “Using our repeatable Prevented Ocean Plastic model, there is no limit to what we can achieve. In the future we would love 25 to become 50, and 50 to become 100 centres, addressing ocean plastic pollution at scale as we continue to grow.”

Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is a pioneering plastic recycling company developing locally customized sorting and collection infrastructure to underserved communities across the world. We are committed to strengthening the supply chain and scaling solutions for the management of plastic waste in the country. We provide high quality traceable recycled plastic to global markets to drive environmental, social and economic value from the bottle collector to the end consumer.