That Number Is Only Getting Worse.
Scientists around the world anticipate that number to double by 2040. While plastic items considered to be "disposable" (such as water bottles) make up the majority of this statistic, beach cleanup programs pick up litter that doesn't fit that bill all too often. Items such as apparel and home goods are frequently discovered on beaches and out to sea. I was initially afraid to start a business, for the prospect of contributing to this problem was not an option I was willing to take.
The Source of The Problem
Before anyone starts a successful business, they have to perform market research. I spent months looking at our competitors, analyzing their products and where they are manufactured. What I discovered was shocking. Out of the ~40 business I looked into, almost all of them were still purchasing their stock from factories known to throw climate regulations to the wind. Almost 90% of them were located in China, a country that prides itself in a "clean climate". This initiative is only intended to be taken at face value however, as a significant amount of manufacturers disregard it, vying instead to use cheaper, more polluting forms of energy and material.
No matter where you live, you are aware of the impact. Climate change is no longer a problem for our grandchildren, it is a problem for every person, plant, and animal alive today. People are dying from poor air quality, animals are suffering and losing their habitats, and forests are burning down at rates never seen before. Litter is unavoidable, and air quality has steadily been declining year by year. While business search for ways to cut on monetary cost, they often forget about the environmental cost. Now is the time to make a change, to opt for the more responsible choices, even if it means sacrificing a percentage of our profits.
We have aggressively looked into every facet of our supply chain, to ensure we do not contribute to this worsening global disaster. While we do care about our success, we wouldn't have the opportunity to succeed if it were not for the planet we have the privilege of living on. This is why I promise to every reader, partner, and employee that we will not be a part of this problem. Every year we close in on our goal of net-zero carbon emissions, and this year we saw the most progress yet. At the beginning of 2019, roughly 30% of our manufacturing process utilized renewable energy. At the time of writing this, we have brought that number up to 65%. We have eliminated suppliers who use unethically sourced labor and material. In mid-2018, we voluntarily removed more than 20 products from our stock in a bid to lessen the amount of non-degradable plastic we are responsible for. We have partnered with numerous ocean conservation foundations to take a more forward and actionable stance against climate change. We have, and will continue to make this commitment our #1 priority.
Please visit OceanConservancy.org and contribute to a beach cleanup program near you.