The fight against plastics, Ocean Cleanup and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

On Saturday the 8th September, the non-profit organisation Ocean Cleanup launched a device that is expected to gather up to 80,000 tonnes of plastic that is floating around an area of the Pacific Ocean. The device is a 600m long machine that creates a horseshoe shaped barrier to trap debris. It will float into areas of high plastic concentration using tidal patterns and collect plastic which can then be collected and recycled. The innovative device, named system 001, reportedly cost £19.4 million to develop and construct. If successful, Ocean Cleanup hope to launch a fleet to remove around half the plastic trapped in the debris field. Although developers insist that marine life will not get caught by the three-metre-deep skirt used to collect plastic, marine conservationists fear that creatures such as Jellyfish will be unable to escape. It is anticipated that scientists will know by the end of the year as to how successful the project will be.

The plastic crisis is an issue that affects us all and here at Element Sustainability, we not only aim to mitigate our impacts on the environment as a company, but also as individuals. This year, Element Sustainability has embraced a number of projects to target environmental awareness and reduce the impacts of single-use plastics:

  • We were delighted to join the Sky team in May on their mission to remove all applications of single-use plastics from their operations by 2020. We will continue to support them on another upcoming project and look forward to making a difference in the fight against plastics.


  • In-line with our environmental policy we believe in leading by example in promoting sustainability and being environmentally conscious. Enforcing this belief, we have recently enrolled in several Terracycle schemes in order to further reduce our impact on this planet. Terracycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials to bring circular repurposing solutions to almost all forms of waste. They offer a range of free, national recycling solutions that are funded by conscientious consumer brands and manufacturers.


  • Wherever possible, the whole team at Element aim to source their food locally and from sustainable sources. We have found that ordering veg boxes, utilising local milk delivery services and the local green grocers are a great way to avoid supermarket packaging! From home-grown yoghurt to hand-made soap, we all do our part to try and minimise our footprint. Any plastics we simply cannot avoid are always carefully recycled.


Ocean Cleanup source: The Independent

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