Founded at the beginning of the Pandemic, Blue Turtle was started to combat the growing plastic problem we are becoming more and more aware of. While the goal of eliminating ocean plastic is a big goal, they don’t expect to do it alone.
Based on the border of Texas and Mexico, they organize and complete beach cleanups. But cleaning isn’t the only way they are trying to make a change.
Teaching about recycling and cleanups at schools, churches, and events is also part of what they do. Additionally, permanent recycling hubs where plastic can be dropped off and properly processed is another aspect of the Project.
This work is great and while much of it is done with volunteer help, but there are always operating costs. So the method that they designed to cover these costs, is selling bracelets.
Made of 100% recycled plastic and silver engraved turtle, it is a reminder to reduce and recycle. And local fishermen are hired to collect the plastic for their bracelets and regional artisans make them for Blue Turtle.
14,813 LBS OF PLASTIC ELIMINATED FROM THE OCEAN
As of January 7, 2020, about 11 months from their start, they have collected 14,813 lbs of plastic from the ocean and beach. But collecting and recycling is not a money-making venture yet, especially with the cost of oil being so low right now.
So because of that, it is cheaper to make new plastic than to process the old stuff to make recycled products. But as there has been more new plastic produced in the last 10 years than the entire century before, so something needs to change.
Eliminating ocean plastic needs to start with the source, and that involves changing the way we buy and purposely buying less plastic. So buying the bracelet from them supports their efforts and helps to remind you to do your part.
As more and more of these kinds of organizations are created, the hope is that we can create a more sustainable system that doesn’t need to have people cleaning trash off the beaches and out of our oceans. The goal for them is to not have to do this work.
ATTAINABLE GOALS FOR ELIMINATING PLASTIC FROM THE OCEAN
But for now, their missions are, first, educating the youth about consumption habits & donating 2.2% of their proceeds to ocean wildlife conservation. Second, removing 2.2 pounds of ocean plastic for every bracelet bought.
Third, is establishing plastic collection hubs in the small villages they work in, creating value for the plastics that are polluting our oceans. And finally, creating micro-economies by employing local fisherman to collect the plastic and hiring regional artisans to make the bracelets.
Written by Jay Weaver, published 11/26/2020