By: Willemijn Peeters, Ocean Ambassador of the Netherlands and Founder of Searious Business
Searious Business is a social enterprise with a strong mission focus. We develop front-end solutions that help prevent plastic pollution in our seas. Creating innovative, economically advantageous alternatives at the source, Searious Business collaborates with companies and others to strategically assess internal plastic use and reduce external impacts on ocean ecosystems.
Plastic pollution is a global, growing problem. It impacts our ocean, our health, and our long-term wellbeing.
Searious Business Solutions
Our primary goal is to prevent plastics from ending up in our environment. As we work with business, governments, and various other organizations, we are always guided by these core principles:
10 million tons
of plastic end up in our global seas every year
of plastic ends up in the stomach of albatrosses every year
is the time it takes a plastic bottle to degrade in the ocean
of plastic is reused…but we are changing that!
Building an International Platform
It is clear that plastic pollution is disastrous for our environment, but from an industrial perspective it is also a tremendous waste of valuable raw materials. To turn this around, Searious Business works with organizations like International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to build consensus with companies and work together to tackle this truly global issue. For example: We recently set up a Framework for Action, including an action plan, timeline, and the creation of a multi-stakeholder platform.
Case Studies and Success Stories
Change can be daunting for some people, and difficult to implement, but helping to protect the seas is Searious Business, and we need to start making it happen now!
To help industry understand what is possible through cooperation and innovation, we are building a collection of success stories to share. These examples showcase what can be done, inspire businesses to take swift action, and prove the economic and ethical rewards of doing the right thing.
The Plastic Scan
We realize that companies often don’t know where to start. To help keep things moving in the right direction, Searious Business developed “Plastic Scan”. This online tool assesses a company’s plastic use and recommends potential improvements for companies wishing to “close the plastic tap.”
With Plastic Scan, businesses quickly gain insight into their use of plastics, as well as practical opportunities for improving their usage and treatment of plastic as a raw material. Our Plastic Scan tool makes the issue of plastics management approachable, measurable, and enables companies to leverage their ethical use and re-use of plastic into a Unique Selling Point. This is the best of both worlds: Reducing impact on the oceans, AND saving time, money, and resources—while authentically increasing Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Plastic Scan consists of 9 questions. Completing it takes about 10 minutes, after which you can immediately identify potential business opportunities and improvements for your company. Your score is sent to you by e-mail, and includes your ranking on a scale from A-F. Along with your score, each participant receives 5 “tips & tricks” on how to improve on their use of plastic to earn a higher ranking…and the Searious Business team is always available to help. You can reach us at email@example.com.
Plastics in a Circular Economy
Although almost all companies use plastics, plastics are rarely seen as a valuable resource. Local recovery and reproduction of plastic materials can become an economic advantage—and result in a huge reduction of plastics entering our seas.
By setting up a small-scale production line for a company (Living Ocean), Searious Business proved that companies can keep plastic materials “in their own loop.” Local businesses actively use this “Living Laboratory” to test, use, and redesign products made of recycled plastics from their own industrial areas. This closes a production loop, recycles products, saves money, and reduces pollution—all at once.
Now THAT is Searious Business at its best!
So far, we have assessed the plastic waste-streams from various companies, along with their specific needs and requirements as regards using recycled plastics. We have assembled and successfully deployed the machines for a complete production line—and officially launched small-scale production in September 2016. The first product to be fully made from the resulting recycled plastics (a designer chair for Gispen) will be ready by December 2016.
A number of major companies have joined this innovative initiative. Waste collectors, plastic recycling companies, machine builders, designers, engineers, and the Dutch Technical University of Delft are currently collaborating with us to obtain, use, and assess the recycled plastics coming out of this exciting process.
Ocean Ambassadors Network
To sustain and gain even more momentum, Searious Business is teaming with other highly motivated young women. We will channel their energy, power, and ambitions toward innovative solutions.
Our team-building has resulted in a global (and growing) network of Ocean Ambassadors.
Together we will sustain a clean and living ocean.